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UNIVERSITY 
OF PITTSBURGH 



OF 















-c 



LIBRARY 



MEMOIRS 

OF THE 



MIAMI VALLEY 



EDITED BY 

JOHN C. HOVER WILLARD J. WRIGHT 

JOSEPH D. BARNES CLAYTON A. LEITER 

WALTER D. JONES JOHN EWING BRADFORD 

CHARLOTTE REEVE CONOVER W. C. CULKINS 



In Three Volumes 
Illustrated 



Volume III 



CHICAGO ;, : 

ROBERT O. LAW COMPANY 
1919 



D 



ar 






V. 6 



f 



Biographies and Portraits are Arranged in Alphabetical 
Order, Malting an Index Unnecessary 



Digitized by the Internet Archive -: 
in 2009 with funding from 
University of Pittsburgh Library System 



http://www.archive.org/details/memoirsofmiamiva03hove 



Butler County — Biographical 

Adam Adrion. In the period of more than a quarter of a century, 
the grocery business owned by Adam Adrion, at Ninth street and 
Yankee road, Middletown, has grown into what is considered one of 
the community's commercial necessities. The proprietor of this 
establishment, now one of the leading and successful men of the 
community, has built up the business from modest proportions, and 
has had the necessity of making his own way in the world, having 
arrived in this city with little save his ambition and his knowledge of 
a useful trade. He was born in 1857, in Germany, and was but 
fifteen years of age, a youth with a common school education, when 
he arrived in the United States. His first place of residence was at 
Indianapolis, Ind., where he learned the blacksmith business and 
resided for about three years, then coming to Middletown, which 
has continued to be his home. For three years after his arrival at 
Middletown. he worked in the blacksmith shop of Charles Greter, 
•and after leaving his employ was associated for eleven years with 
Martin Sheets. It had always been Mr. Adrion's ambition to be- 
come proprietor of a business of his own, and when he left Mr. 
Sheets it was to embark in the grocery business, a line with which 
he had had little experience, but in which he soon showed his worth. 
His business was founded at the corner of Ninth street and Yankee 
road, with a small but well-selected stock of staple and fancy groc- 
eries. It was several years before he was firmly established as one 
of the merchants of the community, but this object once attained 
and the fact recognized by the people, his business began to grow 
and develop, and under his care and watchful management has con- 
tinued to do so. This is now one of the most prosperous business 
stands of its kind in the city and the credit for its well-being all 
rests with Mr. Adrion, who has never been compelled to call for out- 
side assistance, but he has relied upon his own abilities and resource. 
In 1880 Mr. Adrion was married to Miss Louise Schulze, daughter 
of William Schulze, a native of Germany, who immigrated to Amer- 
ica at an early age and subsequently came to Middletown, where 
he was engaged in business until his death. Three children have 
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Adrion : Leona and Herman, who are 
both now deceased ; and Mrs. John T. Williamson, formerly Minnie 
Adrion, who died September 9, 1919, leaving father, mother, hus- 
band and a little daughter, Martha Jane, aged five, to mourn her 
loss. Mrs. Williamson was an exemplary Christian woman, a de- 
voted daughter, wife and mother and was loved by all who knew 
her. She was buried from her home, B. J. Brinkema, pastor of the 
First Presbyterian church, of which Mrs. Williamson was a most 
devout member, officiated at the burial and Mrs. Williamson was 

5 



6 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

laid to rest amid sorrowing family and friends. Mr. Adrion is fra- 
ternally affiliated with the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias and 
the Foresters. He is a Democrat, and he and Mrs. Adrion belong 
to St. Paul's German church. It was in this church Mrs. Adrion was 
confirmed and has been a consistent member of it for forty-seven 
years. Her father, William Schulze, was one of its founders and a 
member of the choir till his death. Mrs. John T. Williamson, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adrion was baptized, confirmed and mar- 
ried in this church. 

Perry Akers. One of the most highly honored residents of But- 
ler county of whom this volume furnishes a record is the cordially 
esteemed Perry Akers, who is now living in honest retirement at 
Oxford. It can also be truthfully said of him that, during his active 
career, he was a typical representative of the best and highest class 
in the agricultural element of the population of the Miami valley. 
Intelligent, practical, systematic, diligent, persevering and provid- 
ent in his farming operations, he was absolutely just in his dealings 
with all who had transactions with him, and his career as a farmer 
reflected credit upon that vocation. Mr. Akers was born on a farm 
in Oxford township, Butler county, Ohio, December 31, 1851, a son 
of James and Hannah (Hansel) Akers, the former a native of Frank- 
lin county, Ind., where his family had been pioneers and where for 
many years they followed the pursuits of the soil as husbandmen. 
They had four children : Lucinda, Asa, William and James. Han- 
nah (Hansel) Akers was also born in Franklin county, Ind., where 
her parents had been early settlers, and she had two brothers and 
three sisters. James Akers was educated in the public schools of 
Franklin county, Ind., and was reared in Bath township, where he 
married Miss Hansel. After a few years devoted to farming there 
they moved to a property situated west of Oxford, in Oxford town- 
ship, Butler county, and there continued to do general farming and 
stock raising until they passed away, being laid to their last rest in 
the vicinity to the north of the College Corner graveyard, in Preble 
county. Their children were as follows : Mary, who died in Ox- 
ford township, was the wife of John Dukes, of Randolph County, 
Ind., a farmer by vocation; Armanella, who died in infancy; Wil- 
liam Riley, who married Emma Van Ausdall, deceased, and resides 
at College Corner ; and Perry. Perry Akers' educational training 
was confined to the common schools of his native community, and 
when he laid aside his school books it was to take up the tools and 
instruments of the home farm, in assisting his father to cultivate 
the tract and develop the property. At the age of twenty-three 
years he was united in marriage with Sarah Adeline, daughter of 
Mahlon Flint, of Union county, Ind., and after their marriage lo- 
cated in that county and engaged in farming. Later he returned to 
Butler county and bought 105 acres of land in Oxford township, 
to which he subsequently added fifty-five acres by purchase. He 
became one of the successful and substantial farmers of his com- 
munity, but at the time of his retirement sold out and moved to the 
city of Oxford, where he bought a handsome brick residence at No. 
815 S. College avenue, his present home. Mr. and Mrs. Akers have 



BUTLER COUNTY — BIOGRAPHICAL 7 

been the parents of five children : two who died in infancy ; Clifford, 
educated in the pubHc schools, married Edith Bourne of Franklin 
county, Ind., moved to that community, and died one year later; 
Wilfred, who taught in the country schools and the Danville Normal 
school, and died at the age of twenty-six years ; Daisy, the wife of 
Omer Dare, of Franklin county, Ind., with four children, Herbert, 
Ralph, Melvin and Loren. Herbert Dare married Bessie White, 
of Franklin county, Ind. Mr. Akers is a Republican and a sub- 
stantial man of his community. Calmly resting now in the evening 
of life, he is thrice fortunate in being able to look back upon an 
honorable and useful career, and, conscious of the affectionate re- 
gard of relatives and friends, to gaze forward in serene expectation 
to the reward of the future. 

Ernest J. Alexander has been a resident of Middletown, Butler 
county, since he was a youth of eighteen years, and as an employee 
of the American Rolling Mills company he holds a responsible 
position, that of heater. He is a skilled and valued artisan, with an 
accurate technical knowledge of the work to which he gives his 
attention, and he owns and occupies one of the fine modern resi- 
dences of Middletown, attractively situated at 638 Garfield avenue. 
Ernest James Alexander was born in Indiana, and is a son of John 
Jones Alexander and Belle (Wynkoop) Alexander, the latter of whom 
died, at Middletown, in 1909, and the former of whom still resides in 
this city, where he is employed by the American Rolling Mills com- 
pany. John J. Alexander is a native of the state of Virginia, but 
prior to his removal to Middletown, Ohio, he had been for a number 
of years a resident of Indiana. His seven children all reside at 
Middletown, and of the number the eldest is Lena, w^ho is the wife 
of Clarence Speidel ; Ernest J., of this review, was the next in order 
of birth ; Florence is the wife of Harry Moore ; Ruth is the wife of 
James Snody ; Elsie is the wife of Albert John ; and Clarence is the 
youngest of the number. Ernest J. Alexander is indebted to the 
public schools of Indiana for his early educational advantages, and, 
he was a youth of eighteen years when he became a resident of 
Middletown, Ohio, where he found employment with the American 
Rolling Mills company, one of the prominent corporations of the 
iron and steel manufacturing enterprises in the state of Ohio. His 
ability has gained him advancement and he is one of its valued em- 
ployees. In politics he maintains an independent attitude, and both 
he and his wife hold the faith of the Baptist church. On account of 
impaired health Mr. Alexander went to the state of Maryland, and 
there, on the 8th of November, 1891, he wedded Miss Edith Bauck- 
man, daughter of George W. and Mary Catherine (Moran) Bauck- 
man, of Ashburn, Virginia, where they still maintain their home, 
their children being six in number: Carroll. Thomas, Nettie, Mrs. 
Harry Cookney ; Belle, Mrs. Ernest Trail ; Edith, wife of the subject 
of this review, and Hattie, wife of Elmer Lewis, of Washington, 
D. C. Mrs. Alexander continued her studies in the public schools 
of Ashburn, Virginia, until she had been graduated in the high 
school, and thereafter she pursued a higher course of study in a 
college at Washington, D. C. She is a popular factor in the social 



8 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

activities of Middletown and is the gracious chatelaine of the attrac- 
tive family home. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander have four children : Mal- 
colm and Milford (twins), Milan and Olga. It may be stated that 
the maternal grandfather of Mrs. Alexander served as a soldier of 
the Union in the Civil war. 

Erhard Allen. Since his arrival at Hamilton, Erhard Allen has 
been identified with several important concerns at this place, the 
duties of which have been discharged with credit to himself. He is 
a native of Sweden, bom January 8, 1883, a son of Erik Tolf, who 
died in Sweden, in which country Mr. Allen's mother still makes 
her home. Erhard Allen was given a good education, both literary 
and mechanical, in his native land, for after leaving his school books 
he was trained as a machinist, tool maker and mechanical draughts- 
man. He was seventeen years of age when he emigrated to the 
United States and first located in New York city, where he remained 
for six years during which he was identified with a number of con- 
cerns, gradually gaining practical experience in his trade and fitting 
himself for a career of further advancement. Upon leaving the 
metropolis, Mr. Allen went to Wisconsin and for the next few years 
traveled through that state, and eventually came to Ohio and found 
employment with the National Cash Register company, with which 
great concern he spent five years. While at Dayton, Mr. Allen was 
united in marriage with Helen Agnes Grave of that city, and not 
long after their union came to Hamilton, where he joined the work- 
ing forces of the Republic Motor Car company. During the period 
that he remained with that company he received several promotions, 
finally being made assistant superintendent, a position which he 
resigned in 1915 to become associated with the Bonham Recorder 
company, of which firm he is now superintendent. Mr. Allen is a 
thorough master of his trade in all its particulars and is also pos- 
sessed of marked executive ability which makes him valuable in the 
handling of large working forces of men. He is fraternally affiliated 
with the local lodge of the Order of Elks, and his political support 
is given to the candidates of the Democratic party. 

Leslie Allison, heater at the American Rolling Mills plant at 
Middletown, has been engaged with this plant ever since he entered 
upon his independent career. He belongs to the enterprising, pro- 
gressive class of young men who have made their own way, and has 
made excellent progress in establishing himself as a substantial 
citizen of his community. Mr. Allison was born at Portsmouth, 
Ohio, a son of Henry Allison, who still resides at Cleveland, Ohio, 
the mother of Mr. Allison also surviving. After attending the public 
schools of Portsmouth, Leslie Allison took up steel work as his 
vocation, and in 1912 came to Middletown to accept the position of 
heater's helper at the plant of the American Rolling Mills company, 
a post from which he was advanced to heater which position he now 
holds. He is a reliable, steady and industrious workman, who has 
the confidence of his employers and the friendship of his fellows. 
His thrift is evidenced in the ownership of an attractive and com- 
fortable home on Sutphin avenue. In politics he maintains a liberal 
stand, and he and Mrs. Allison are members of the Methodist church. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 9 

September 20, 1911, Mr. Allison married Dora E. Rankin, who was 
born November 25, 1890, near Paris, Ky-, a daughter of Henry and 
Anna (Hollar) Rankin. There were four other children in the 
family, namely : Fletcher M., born November 27, 1886 ; Walter Cray, 
born March 7, 1893 ; Georgie, born October 28, 1895 ; and Russell 
Harvey, born November 29, 1898. Henry Rankin, who fought as a 
soldier during the Civil war, died at Millersburg, Ky., March 8, 
1902, and following his death the family removed to Portsmouth, 
Ohio, where the children were reared. Mrs. Rankin still survives 
and resides at Middletown with her daughter and son-in-law, at the 
Sutphin avenue home. Two children have been born to Mr. and 
.Mrs. Allison : one who died in infancy ; and Dorothy Louise, who 
died when seven months of age. 

Clinton Alston, the village blacksmith with a well equipped 
shop at Symmes Corner, in Fairfield township, Butler county has 
applied himself so vigorously and with such marked skill to his 
trade that he ably controls a substantial and profitable business. 
Mr. Alston is a representative of the third generation of the family 
in Butler county, and this statement implies that he comes of fine old 
pioneer stock. He was born in Fairfield township, the place of his 
birth having been the farm of his father, who long held vantage- 
place as one of the representative agriculturists of Fairfield town- 
ship, where he was born and reared, his wife also having been born 
in Butler county. Clinton Alston, who is associated with his brother 
Cassius in the blacksmith business, is junior member of the firm, 
both members of which are skilled artisans and well known and 
popular citizens. They are sons of M. P. and Elizabeth (Herr) 
Alston, and grandsons of Wallace Alston and Henry Herr, both of 
whom were pioneer settlers in this county, whither they came from 
Pennsylvania. The children of M. P. and Elizabeth Alston are : 
Montgomery P., a prosperous farmer in Butler county; Cassius, 
who is a bachelor, and is associated with his brother Clinton in the 
blacksmith establishment at Symmes Corner; Clinton, the subject 
of this sketch, was the next in order of birth ; and Minnie and Al- 
bert. Clinton Alston is indebted to the public schools of Butler 
county for his education, and as a young man he served a practical 
apprenticeship to the trade of blacksmith, which has gained him 
reputation and success in his chosen vocation. He and his brother 
have been conducting the business for some years, and their prowess 
as artisans does not obscure their loyalty and liberality as citizens, 
in which connection it may be stated that during the late World war 
they gave liberal support to the various agencies that upheld the 
government in its war activities. The utmost fraternal and business 
harmony marks the relations of the two brothers, but in politics 
their are divided in sentiment, Clinton being afifiliated with the Re- 
publican party and Cassius with the Democratic party. Clinton 
Alston was united in marriage to Miss Alice Van Natta, who was 
born and reared in Butler county, and they have two sons : Gordon 
and Clinton, jr. Gordon was one of the gallant young Americans 
who went forth as a soldier with the American Expeditionary Force 
in France, where he was a member of the 83d Division, 322d Field 



10 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Artillery, with which he was in the great campaigns and terrific 
conflicts at Argonne and Chateau Thierry, France. 

Henry Anderson is well and favorably known at Middletown. 
where for some years he has been employed in the plant of the 
American Rolling mill. He was born at Mount Sterling, Ky., Feb- 
ruary 23, 1886, a son of Newton Anderson, who still survives and re- 
sides at Mount Sterling, where the mother died in 1908. The par- 
ents had a family of five sons and three daughters : Henry, of this 
review ; Newton, jr. I, who died as a small lad ; James, Lee and New- 
ton, jr. n, residents of Lexington, Ky. ; Joseph, of Middletown; 
Lillie, the wife of Walter Reffitt, of Mount Sterling, Ky. ; Rettie, 
the wife of Herbert Baker, of Kokomo, Ind. ; Mollie, the wife of Sim 
Curran, of Lexington, Ky. Newton Anderson the elder enlisted 
from Kentucky in the Civil war, through which struggle he fought 
bravely, receiving his honorable discharge when peace was declared. 
Henry Anderson was educated in the public schools of Mount Ster- 
ling, Ky., where he received the training that fitted him for work at 
his present vocation. For some years he was variously employed 
in mills at dififerent places, but eventually settled at Middletown, 
where he has since been employed as a heater in the American Roll- 
ing mill. Mr. Anderson is liberal in his political views and a mem- 
ber of the United Brethren church. He was married August 8, 
1907, at Indianapolis, Ind., to Bessie Hamilton, born September 12, 
1887, daughter of Andrew and Emma (England) Hamilton, the 
former of whom still resides at Middletown, while the latter died at 
this place, June 12, 1907. Mrs. Anderson had two sisters: Maud, 
who died as the wife of Dee May ; and Gay, who is now Mrs. Lee 
Wolff, of Middletown. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have one son, Stan- 
ley Woodford Anderson, born June 4, 1908, and now attending 
the Middletown public schools. A daughter, Gladys May, died 
at Kokomo, Ind., at the age of sixteen months. The pleasant 
family home of the Andersons is situated at No. 537-1-2 Young 
street. 

Allen Andrews was born in Delaware county, Ind., August 11, 
1849. He was educated in the common schools of that state and at 
the National Normal at Lebanon, Ohio, and at Liber college. Liber, 
Ind. When he was eighteen years of age he became a teacher and 
taught in the common schools and was superintendent of the schools 
at New Madison and a teacher in the high school at Greenville. He 
afterwards studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1874 and com- 
menced the practice of law in Greenville, Ohio, the junior member of 
the firm of Rififel & Andrews. Disposing of his interests in that law 
firm under a contract not to practice in that county for three years 
he came to the city of Hamilton in March, 1876, and has been a 
resident of that city ever since. He was the junior member of the 
firm of McKemy & Andrews for four years and then a member of 
the firm of Morey, Andrews & Morey for twenty-two years until the 
death of the Hon. H. L. Morey dissolved the partnership. Shortly 
afterwards the partnership of Andrews, Harlan & Andrews was 
formed. and remained in existence until Hon. Walter S. Harlan was 
elected to the common pleas bench in 1912. Since then the business 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 11 

has been continued by Andrews & Andrews, a partnership consist- 
ing of the subject of this sketch and his two sons, John D. Andrews, 
who was admitted to the bar in January, 1905, and Allen Andrews, 
jr., who was admitted to the bar in 1914. Mr. Andrews has devoted 
his time and talent exclusively to the practive of law for forty-fiVe 
years and has been connected with much of the important litigations 
in Butler county and in the adjoining counties and in the Federal 
court of the Southern District of Ohio. His paternal ancestry came 
from Scotland and his maternal from Germany. There were five 
sons in his father's family, three of whom were in the Federal Army 
of the Civil war, the other two being under the military age ; and in 
the World war, Mr. Andrews had two sons and one son-in-law in 
the service. In 1879 he married Miss Belle Davis, the daughter of 
J. P. Davis, a prominent citizen of Hamilton, who died in his ninety- 
first year in February, 1917. On her mother's side Mrs. Andrews 
descended from old Revolutionary stock and Thomas Blair, one of 
the pioneer settlers of Hamilton was her great-great-grandfather. 
They have five children, all of whom have reached the years of ma- 
turity and are now married, besides the two sons associated with 
him in his business he has one son, Stanley, in the medical profes- 
sion living in Toledo. His daughter Ruth, lives in Los Angeles, 
Calif., and is the wife of H. Ellis Reed, who is in the service of the 
Los Angeles Times and his other daughter, Elizabeth is the wife of 
J. P. Rogers, who was in the Aviation Service during the war and 
now resides in Columbus. Mr. Andrews has never served in public 
life but has taken great interest in politics and public affairs not- 
withstanding his close application to his professional duties. He is 
a member of the American and Ohio Bar associations, and was presi- 
dent of the latter in 1911 and 1912. He has found diversion such 
as he has been able to take outside of his profession in fraternal 
societies. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for 
forty-seven years. Is a thirty-third degree Mason and was Grand 
Master of the Ohio Masons for two years in 1893 and 1894. He is 
also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 
He and his family are members and attendants of the First M. E. 
church of Hamilton. 

Sylvester Andrews. .The annals of Butler county show many 
records of the lives of farmers who have rounded out the duties con- 
nected with agricultural pursuits, and have amassed considerable 
fortunes gathered from the fertile soil. One who has met with con- 
siderable success in this direction, which is well merited, is Syl- 
vester Andrews, who has been a lifelong resident of Milford town- 
ship, and who was born north of the place he now occupies, Sep- 
tember 11, 1846, a son of Felty and Ruth (Jones) Andrews, natives 
of Columbia, near Cincinnati. The paternal grandparents passed 
their entire lives near Cincinnati, while the maternal grandparents, 
Benjamin Jones and his wife, came from Pennsylvania. After their 
marriage, Felty and Ruth Andrews settled in Butler county, Ohio, 
on a farm located north of the one on which their son now lives, but 
in 1859 bought the latter place and there rounded out the remainder 
of their useful and honorable lives. They were the parents of the 



12 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

following children : Wesley, deceased, who was a soldier of the 
Union during the Civil war; Benjamin, a resident of Dayton; Syl- 
vester, of this notice ; William, deceased ; and Esom, who lives in 
California. Sylvester Andrews received his education in the coun- 
try schools of Butler county and was reared on the home farm, where 
he assisted his father. He was married in 1873 to Lucy, daughter of 
Jackson and Lucinda Watt, who resided in the same township, and 
both of whom are now deceased. They were the parents of six 
children. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews lived west 
of Oxford on a rented farm for some time, and then moved to the 
old homestead of 103 acres, which is still their abode. The house in 
which they make their residence was built by Mr. Andrew's father, 
but the present owner has made numerous improvements and has 
installed much new equipment, and the property is now one of the 
handsome, valuable and productive estates of its part of the county. 
Mr. and Mrs. Andrews are highly esteemed in their community for 
their many excellencies of mind and heart, are faithful members of 
the Methodist church, and during the war period were generous 
contributors to the various enterprises which assisted in winning 
the war. Mr. Andrews is a Democrat, but has never cared for pub- 
lic office, being content to center his activities in his farm and his 
home, where he finds enjoyment and interest. Four children have 
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Andrews : Clem, Allen, Laura and Irma. 
Clem, an energetic farmer of Butler county, married Irma Wright, 
of Portsmouth, Ohio, and they have two children, Donald and 
Grace ; Allen, who went with the American Expeditionary Forces to 
France, where he served with the hospital corps until his return to 
the United States in 1919; Laura married Fred Hewitt, a contractor 
of Butler county, and has two children, Lucy and Treva; and Irma 
married George Moss, of Richmond, Ind., and has one child — 
Louise. 

Albert Handon Antrobus, son of John Butler Antrobus, was 
born near Falmouth, Ky., June 26, 1857. His father, whose paternal 
ancestors were from France and England, was a native of Virginia 
but early settled in Kentucky and followed the vocation of cooper 
and firmer. While working on a house in Indianapolis, Ind., in 
1882, he fell therefrom, sustaining injuries which caused his death. 
His mother died in 1878. There were twelve children in the family: 
Samuel, deceased ; James, now living in Georgetown, Ky. ; George, 
in Pan Handle, Texas ; Jeflferson Coleman, in Falmouth, Ky. ; Jane, 
deceased; Elizabeth, in Cincinnati; Nancy, in Illinois; Catharine, in 
Falmouth, Ky. ; Ann, deceased ; Hattie, deceased ; Sallie, in Cincin- 
nati ; and Albert Handon, the subject of this sketch, who married 
Miss Mattie Courtney, daughter of J. and Martha (Bishop) 
Courtney. To this couple were born nine children : Grover ; Clar- 
ence, died December 6, 1916; Clara Bell, and Ella, died in infancy; 
Lillian, Mrs. John Lawrence ; Mabel, Mrs. Jacob Root ; Harry, 
Nellie and Catharine. The deaths from influenza, November, 1919, 
of the eight-months-old twin babies of Mrs. John Lawrence dark- 
ened with grief the home of the grandparents. Mr. Antrobus is pos- 
sessed of executive ability and is an energetic worker along many 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 13 

lines. He organized a Baptist church, starting with fourteen mem- 
bers in his old home-town in Kentucky and still retains his member- 
ship there. His son, Harry, a most estimable young man, belongs 
to the Nazarene church and takes a very active part in church work. 
Mr. Antrobus is a contractor and with his family lives in his own 
comfortable home on Lefiferson street, Middletown, Ohio. In politics 
he is a Democrat. 

A. J. Antrobus. The contribution of A. J. Antrobus to the de- 
velopment of Butler county has included the clearing of a fine farm 
and the development of a valuable property. When he arrived in 
this county, the land was covered with timber, but the passing of 
twelve years has seen great changes take place in this part of the 
Miami valley, and the Antrobus farm is now one of the highly de- 
veloped and valuable tracts of the locality. Mr. Antrobus was born 
February 25, 1866, in Pendleton county, Ky., a son of Samuel L. and 
Susan Millie (Luckett) Antrobus. The family originated in Eng- 
land, whence the paternal great-grandfather came to this country at 
an early day, taking up his residence among the pioneers of Ken- 
tucky. In that state was born John Antrobus, the grandfather of 
A. J., who followed carpentry and contracting all his life in the Blue 
Grass region. Samuel L. Antrobus was also born in Kentucky, and 
as a young man adopted the vocation of cooper, to which business 
he devoted the active years of his life, never leaving his native state. 
He was a man of industry and integrity, and one who possessed in 
full degree the esteem and confidence of his fellows. His wife, one 
year his junior, was born in 1840, in Kentucky, to which state her 
father, William Luckett, had journeyed at an early date from Mary- 
land. The boyhood and youth of A. J. Antrobus were passed in Ken- 
tucky, where he attended the district schools and grew up in a rural 
community in which the chief occupation was farming. This fact 
probably decided his career, and although his father and grandfather 
before him had been artisans, following established trades all their 
lives, he chose for his lifework the tilling of the soil and his atten- 
tion has been devoted thereto throughout his career. In 1907 Mr. 
Antrobus removed from Kentucky to Butler county ana bought a 
tract of land on the Franklin road. Timber covered a part of this 
section, even at that late date, but Mr. Antrobus, ambitious and ener- 
getic, cleared the wooded portion and soon had the entire property 
under a high state of cultivation. While in a broad sense he may 
be termed a general farmer, most of his interest centers in tobacco 
growing, a field in which he has won marked and indisputed suc- 
cess. His property has been improved by the erection of substan- 
tial buildings and the installment of modern improvements, and he 
is looked upon as being up-to-date in every respect. Mr. Antrobus 
was married in 1896 to Miss Viva Courtney, daughter of William 
and Clara (Phillips) Courtney, natives of Kentucky, and to this 
union there have been born three children : Mattie, who is now Mrs. 
Carl McGraw ; and Alma and Frank, who reside with their parents. 
Mr. Antrobus is a member of the local lodge of the I. O. O. F., and 
is popular among his fellow-members. He and his family belong to 
the Nazarene church, and he has always been liberal in his contribu- 



14 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

tions to worthy causes, civic, educational or religious. His political 
beliefs cause him to support the Democratic party. 

Valentine Apple. That the occupation of farming can be made 
one of the most agreeable and satisfying vocations known, that in- 
dustry, good management and persistent combine to result in the 
attainment of one's ambitions, and that straightforward dealing and 
integrity are among the most valuable of human assets, are facts 
exemplified in the life of Valentine Apple, whose career has been 
identified with Butler county for twenty-eight years, and who, as a 
farmer and good citizen, has exerted a splendid influence in the de- 
velopment of his community. Mr. Apple was born near Farmers- 
ville, Montgomery county, Ohio, December 16, 1868, a son of Jacob 
and Elizabeth (Stacksbarger) Apple, the former a native of Mont- 
gomery county and the latter of Maryland. They were married in 
Montgomery county, where they followed agricultural pursuits for 
a long period, but eventually moved to Warren county, settling one 
and one-half miles west of Franklin, where Mrs. Apple died in 1890, 
aged sixty-eight years, and Mr. Apple in 1899, when seventy-one 
years of age. They were consistent members of the Lutheran church, 
were highly respected in the communities in which they resided, and 
were the parents of fifteen children. Valentine Apple was given 
only a limited education in the district schools of his native locality. 
His boyhood and youth were filled with hard work, as he labored on 
the home place until he was twenty-two years of age. At that time 
he was married, and one year later removed to his present farm, in 
Lemon township, Butler county, known as the Reed place, a tract 
of ninety-three acres. On this he has since erected all the buildings, 
and made many valuable improvements, including the installation 
of 1,500 rods of tile. He has seen the district rise from somewhat 
primitive conditions to wonderful prosperity; has seen homes es- 
tablished and their owners pass beyond the ken of those who knew 
them ; and has witnessed the departure of the old-time implements 
and the installment of those which obliterate the grinding drudgery 
of an earlier day. He is a skilled and extensive breeder of Poland 
China hogs and Shorthorn cattle, and also raises many horses for 
general purposes. His crops consist of all kinds of grain. True to 
the traditions of his family, Mr. Apple is a Democrat, but has never 
asked for any office or preferment at the hands of either his party 
or his fellow-citizens. With his family, he belongs to the United 
Presbyterian church, at Monroe. During his active career Mr. Apple 
has lived close to high ideals, and his citizenship has imparted 
strength and substantiality to all undertakings in which his ability 
and worth have been enlisted. He was married in 1890 to Miss 
Lona Mullendore, of Preble county, O., who died five years later, 
leaving two children : Harold, chief clerk of the Big Four railroad 
freight offices, who married Lillian Schroeder and has one daughter; 
and Lona, a graduate of the Gratis High school and a teacher before 
her marriage to A. Brubaker, of Preble county. Mr. Apple's second 
marriage was to May Coover, of Montgomery county, daughter of 
Samuel and Laura Coover, of that county. Mr. Coover was a mil- 
ler, and both he and his wife are now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 15 

Apple there have been born two children : Arthur C. and Harvey, 
both graduates of the Monroe High school. Arthur after complet- 
ing his studies remained at home assisting his father, while Harvey 
became a student at Muskingum college. Mr. Apple has supported 
in a practical manner all educational and worthy civic enterprises. 

Leander Ardery as a farmer, citizen and business man stands 
high in the respect of the citizens of Oxford township, where he has 
resided for a quarter of a century. He was born on a farm in Frank- 
lin county, Ind., October 14, 1854, a son of James and Margaret 
(GofiF) Ardery, natives of the same county. The maternal grand- 
parents of Mr. Ardery were pioneers of that region, and his paternal 
ancestors, natives of Kentucky, also went to the Hoosier state at an 
early day. James B. Goff, an uncle of Mr. Ardery, fought as a soldier 
of the Union during the war between the states, and was a member 
of an Indiana Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. James and Mar- 
garet (Goff) Ardery resided on the old Gofif place in Franklin county 
for nine years after their marriage, and then moved to Union county, 
in the same state, where they spent the remainder of their lives, the 
mother passing away in 1895 and the father four years later. They 
were the parents of the following children : John, deceased ; Lean- 
der; James; Albert; Anna, deceased; C. E. ; Mary A., deceased; 
Laura; W. F. and O. M. Leander Ardery was educated in the pub- 
lic schools of Bath township, Franklin county, Ind., and in Union 
county, and in the latter community grew to stalwart manhood as a 
farmer's son. He was married there in 1890 to Alice, daughter of 
David B. and Martha (Haskell) Howarth, of Union county, the lat- 
ter of whom belonged to one of the pioneer families of Cincinnati, 
the Haskells, who came originally from Massachusetts. David B. 
and Martha A. Howarth were the parents of the following children : 
Henry E., Eliza Ann, William, Alice B., Josie M., Charles E. and 
Daisy. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Leander Ardery lived on 
the farm of Mr. Howarth, near Cottage Grove, for five years, and in 
1894 purchased their present place, a tract of 101 acres lying in Ox- 
ford township. Here Mr. Ardery has made numerous improve- 
ments, including the erection of substantial and modern buildings 
and the installing of modern machinery and the latest conveniences. 
Modern in his views, and energetic and capable in his operations, 
Mr. Ardery has brought good judgment into play in the manage- 
ment of his property. He is one of the public-spirited men of his 
locality, and no worthy movement passes him by, as was shown 
during the period of the great World war when he was a generous 
contributor to the various war activities. He and his wife are the 
parents of one son, Edward G., born in 1900, who is a graduate of 
high school and his father's capable assistant on the home place. 

Andrevi^ J. Arent, a prominent carpenter contractor of Hamilton 
whose good workmanship has contributed to the city's architectural 
attractiveness, was born at Hamilton, Ohio, January 31, 1866, a son 
of Mathias and Mary Arent, both of whom are now deceased. His 
father was born in the east and there educated, and as a youth 
learned the trade of carpentry, which he followed at Jacksonboro, 
Butler county, to which place he removed in young manhood. There 



16 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

he was married, his wife being a native of the state of New York, 
and subsequently they came to Hamilton, where Mathias Arent de- 
veloped into a carpenter contractor and lumber dealer, business 
ventures with which he was successfully identified until his death. 
Of his eight children, three sons and one daughter survive : Jean, a 
contractor of Hamilton, who married Belle Wamsley and has two 
children; Mathias, of Hamilton, who married Christine McGehan; 
Annie, of Canada, the widow of Philip Stillwaugh ; and Andrew J. 
Andrew J. Arent was educated in the graded schools of Hamilton 
and was well trained in the trade of carpentry under the skilled and 
capable preceptorship of his father. He continued to work in asso- 
ciation with the elder man until 1907, at which time he formed a part- 
nership with his brother, Jean, in the contracting and lumber busi- 
ness. In 1911 Andrew J. Arent sold his interest in the lumber enter- 
prise to his brother, and since that time has continued alone as a 
contractor. He has built up an excellent business and has taken his 
place as one of the leaders in his field at Hamilton. Mr. Arent was 
married in 1886 to Miss Kate Fath, daughter of Jacob and Anna 
Fath, early residents of Hamilton, and they became the parents of 
seven children : Van Lou, formerly in the carpenter business, and 
a' member of the Loyal Order of Moose and the Modern Woodmen 
of America, who died at Hamilton at the age of thirty-one years, 
leaving a widow and four children ; Vernon, thirty years of age, 
educated in the public schools, learned the machinist's trade and is 
now a draughtsman and superintendent at the Cullen & Vaughn 
Planing mills, resides at Hamilton and is a member of the Loyal 
Order of Moose, married Hilda Alexander, and has two children ; 
Murray, aged twenty-eight years, educated in the public schools, 
learned the carpenter trade under his father and worked with him 
until December 11, 1917, when he enlisted in the Motor Mechanics 
Signal Corps, later was transferred to the Air Service Mechanics, 
and after about two months of intensive training in this country was 
sent across the Atlantic, to France ; Naomi, a high school graduate, 
who is unmarried and resides with her parents ; Orville, aged twenty- 
two years, a high school graduate, who is engaged in the automobile 
business; and Carol, aged nineteen years, and Olive, aged sixteen 
years, high school graduates, who reside with their parents. After 
his first marriage, Mr. Arent built his first home at No. 220 Wayne 
avenue, but subsequently built another at No. 711 Ross avenue, into 
which he moved, this being followed by homes at No. 709 Ross 
avenue and No. 219 North C street. The present home, at No. 825 
Park avenue, was erected by Mr. Arent. He is a member of the 
lodges of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Modern Woodmen 
of America, and he and the members of his family belong to the 
Baptist church. 

Jean Arent. General contracting and building interests at Ham- 
ilton, Ohio, have a skilled and progressive representative in the per- 
son of Jean Arent, who belongs to a family the members of which 
have long been prominent in this connection, and whose own con- 
tributions to the upbuilding of his native city have been important. 
Mr. Arent was born at Hamilton, February 28, 1876, a son of Mathias 



-jUtler county— BIOGRAPHICA, 17 

and Mary Arent, both of whom have now passed away. Mathias 
Arent was a native of the East, where he was reared and received 
an ordinary education, and as a young man came to Jacksonboro, 
Butler county, Ohio, where he followed the vocation of a carpenter, 
having learned that trade in his youth. At New Brunswick, New Jer- 
sey, he met and was married to a )'oung lady who had been born and 
reared in that state, and not long thereafter the young couple came 
to Hamilton, where they spent the remaining years of their lives. 
Mathias Arent developed a good business as a carpenter contractor 
and also dealt in lumber and became one of Hamilton's substantial 
citizens. He and his wife became the parents of eight children, of 
whom four survive : Jean ; Mathias, of Hamilton, who married 
Christine McGehan ; Annie, of Canada, the widow of Philip Still- 
waugh ; and Andrew J., a carpenter contractor of Hamilton, who 
married Kate Fath, and has seven children. Jean Arent was edu- 
cated in the graded schools, and upon reaching years of maturity 
chose his father's vocation as his own. He learned the trade of car- 
penter under the elder man, and worked at it until 1907, in which 
year he and his brother Andrew J. embarked in business as their 
father's successors, engaging both in carpenter contracting and in 
the lumber business. Later Jean Arent bought the lumber interests 
from Andrew J. and carried on the business until 1911, when he sold 
out and again established himself in the carpenter contracting busi- 
ness. In 1915 Mr. Arent went to Los Angeles, Cal., where he be- 
came associated with the New York Motion Picture corporation, as 
superintendent of building construction. This contract was in con- 
nection with the erection of the buildings used in photographing 
the motion picture plays for future presentation on the screen, and 
entailed wide and diversified knowledge and constant and unremit- 
ting labor, as the company's "studio" covered some twenty-two 
acres of ground. While there Mr. Arent erected a two-story home 
of his own, but in April, 1916. resigned his position, sold his resi- 
dence and returned to Hamilton, where he built his present artis- 
tically designed residence at No. 20 Elvin avenue. Mr. Arent is one 
of Hamilton's self-made men and has gained what he at present 
owns solely through the medium of his own efforts. He has been 
face to face with discouraging conditions in his career notably dur- 
ing the flood of 1913 when he lost about $8,000 in property, but at 
no time has he lost faith in his own ability, and this confidence he has 
imparted to those who have been associated with him in any business 
transactions, whether as business associates or as customers. His 
contracts are now all of large and important proportions and he is 
recognized as one of the leading operators in his field. Mr. Arent 
was married December 20, 1910, to Miss Belle Wamsley, daughter 
of George and Lydia (Gebhart) Wamsley, of Indiana. To this 
union there have been born two children : Helen, aged seven years, 
and now attending the Hamilton graded schools ; and Herbert, aged 
three years. Mr. Arent has a number of business connections, is 
popular in club life, and as a good citizen has allied himself 
with movements that have had the welfare and advancement of 
Hamilton and its citizens as their object. 

2 



18 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Martin Arnold. Steady application to the development of an 
idea has been the medium through which Martin Arnold has ad- 
vanced himself from the position of employee to that of employer 
and w^hich has brought him into possession of one of the best-paying 
and most important enterprises of its kind at Hamilton. As a 
plumbing contractor he now controls a large number of important 
projects, and has established a permanent place for himself in busi- 
ness circles through his energetic, progressive and industrious ap- 
plication to his enterprise. Mr. Arnold was born at St. Martin, 
Brown county, Ohio, in 1882, and received his early education in the 
public schools of that place, later attending St. Mary's institute, at 
Dayton. When he left school he secured a position as clerk, and 
after several years became connected with the Pettibone Manufac- 
turing company, of Cincinnati, a concern with which he remained 
for two years. About this time Mr. Arnold decided that he was not 
making as rapid advancement as he should and decided that what he 
needed was the knowledge of a useful trade. Accordingly, he be- 
came a helper with the concern of William Donahue & Company, of 
Cincinnati, where he remained several years, then coming to Ham- 
ilton, where he first worked with Lou Schaub and later with L. 
Bertscher. In 1909 Mr. Arnold embarked in business on his own 
account, and from that time to the present his career has been one of 
constantly increasing success. He is now the proprietor of an es- 
tablishment on East avenue, where he receives contracts for plumb- 
ing to be done in all parts of the country, for his work is not localized 
merely to the confines of Hamilton, but has spread and extended all 
over the surrounding country as the quality and expedition of his 
service have been recognized and appreciated. He bears an excel- 
lent reputation in business circles, where he is known as a man who 
keeps his engagements and contracts to the letter. In his political 
tendencies he is a Democrat, but is inclined to be independent in his 
actions. With his family he belongs to St. Stephen's Catholic 
church, and his fraternal affiliation is with the Knights of Columbus. 
Mr. Arnold married Miss Jeannette Meyers, and they have two chil- 
dren : Betty Jane and Martin jr. 

Albert Auberle, son of August Auberle, was born in McKees- 
port. Pa., where his parents passed the years of useful and well- 
spent lives, the father dying December 24, 1908 and the mother 
January 15, 1912. Thirteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Auberle, and a rather unusual condition obtains in that all reached 
maturity and were engaged in active pursuits : Augusta, Mrs. W. 
Wyer, at McKeesport; Barbara, Mrs. C. Callahan, at McKeesport; 
Joseph, at McKeesport; William, at McKeesport; Fred, at Wood- 
lawn, Pa.; Cleos, at New Castle, Pa.; August, at Parkersburg, W. 
Va. ; Bibianna Mains, at McKeesport; Leopold, John, Otmar, Mary, 
deceased ; Albert, the subject of this sketch, has been a resident of 
Middletown since 1911, when he came from Newport, Ky., to take 
a position as roller with the American Rolling Mill company. Thirty- 
two years ago, in Pennsylvania, he married Miss Nancy Jane Dodds, 
daughter of James and Abigail (Sarver) Dodds, whose parents came 
from Iowa. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Auberle : 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 19 

Ethel, deceased ; Herbert, deceased ; Frank, now in Middletown ; 
Floyd, now a doctor practicing in the west. In the death of Herbert 
at Cincinnati by drowning, July 1, 1911, a great sorrow which has 
not yet been entirely dispelled, settled upon the home. Frank 
heard the call of his country and enlisted August 5, 1918, with the 
Marines. He was at Paris Island, S. C, and Quantico, Va., until 
February 11, 1919, when he was discharged. Dr. Floyd is a graduate 
of the Middletown High school and the Kirksville School of Oste- 
opathy. He is the youngest student ever graduated from that insti- 
tution. After graduation, he enlisted March 9, 1918, with the Medi- 
cal Corps and August 8, 1918, sailed for overseas duty in Germany. 
He received his discharge July 5, 1919. Mr. Auberle has built a 
beautiful house in the Highlands in Middletown, where the family 
finds pleasure and happiness in the comforts of a well-ordered home. 
He is a member of the Lutheran church, and in politics is liberal. 

Charles A. Aufranc, farmer, stockman and dairyman of Union 
township, and president of the Butler county board of education, 
was born in the township in which he now resides, February 8, 
1875, a son of Augustus and Caroline (Daniels) Aufranc. Augustus 
Aufranc was one of the most prominent stockmen in Ohio during his 
day. A breeder of English Coach horses and Jersey thoroughbred 
cattle, he was also a charter member of the Poland China Record 
association, and served efficiently as judge at all stock fairs held 
within a radius of many miles of his Butler county home. He was 
a man of the highest honor and integrity and was universally re- 
spected and esteemed by the many who had the pleasure of coming 
in contact with him. Charles A. Aufranc received his education in 
the public schools of Union township and grew up on the home farm, 
where he came under the instruction of his father. It was but nat- 
ural that he should assimilate the elder man's knowledge of live 
stock, and all his life he has been attracted thereto and has been 
accounted an authority upon cattle, horses and hogs. He remained 
as an associate of his father until the time of his marriage, when he 
embarked upon an agricultural venture of his own, locating on a 
farm of forty-two acres which he had purchased near West Chester. 
This he has since increased to sixty-two acres, and on it has made 
numerous improvements of a modern character. While he carries 
on general farming, he is best known as a breeder of thoroughbred 
spotted Poland China hogs, and feeds about 100 of these animals 
annually. His success has been well-merited, as he has been a hard 
and energetic worker, and has applied his knowledge intelligently 
in the promoting of his business interests. In 1903, Mr. Aufranc 
was united in Marriage with Rosa, daughter of Mahlon and Hattie 
(Jones) Conover, and to this union there have been born two chil- 
dren : Garrett and Beulah. For a number of years Mr. Aufranc has 
interested himself in educational matters, and much of the credit 
for the high standard of the Butler county schools is due to his 
efiforts. After serving eleven years as president of the local board 
of education in Union township, he was made vice-president of the 
Butler County Board of Education, and from that post advanced 
to the presidency, which he now occupies. Politically he prefers to 



20 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

vote independently and will not allow himself to be confined by 
party lines. He is fraternally affiliated with the Junior Order of 
United American Mechanics, of which he is a member of the council, 
and his religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal church, 
of which he is president of the official board of trustees. 

William H. Aufranc, proprietor of the Homestead Stock farm, 
situated in Union township, Butler county, bears a family name that 
has been held in high esteem in this section for many years. The 
family was established here by his grandfather, his father, the late 
Augustus Aufranc, being then a young man. William H. Aufranc 
was born in Union township, December 27, 1887, son of Augustus 
and Caroline (Daniel) Aufranc, both of whom were born in Hamil- 
ton county, Ohio. The father grew to manhood on the homestead 
of his father and passed his life here, his death occurring May 13, 
1913. He was an extensive farmer and a pioneer in the thorough- 
bred stock industry, Butler county being much indebted to him for 
efforts to raise stock standards. He was an upright, worthy man in 
every relation of life and his death was a loss to Butler county. The 
mother of William H. Aufranc survives and is a member of his 
household. Of the family of five children there are four living, 
namely : Luella, Mertie, Charles and William H. With his brother 
and sisters, William H. Aufranc attended the public schools of 
Union township. While many other youths of the neighborhood 
made plans for the future that would take them to town or city, 
William H. had no such ambition, always finding enough to hold 
his interest on his father's farm and was his most useful assistant 
until the father's death. By that time he was qualified for the re- 
sponsibilities that fell upon him in taking over the farm of 111 acres 
and continuing the industries that have made the Homestead Stock 
farm known all over Ohio. In addition to general farming he breeds 
Shropshire Down sheep and big type Poland China hogs, all 
thoroughbred, and through experience and success has become an 
authority on stock although yet a young man. November 8, 1911, 
he married Miss Martha Muchmore, and they have one child, Myron 
Augustus. Mr. and Mrs. Aufranc are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church at Tylerville, of which he is a trustee, and 
formerly was superintendent of the Sunday school. Fraternally he 
is a Blue Lodge Mason, and politically has always cast his vote 
with the Republican party. 

August K. Augspurger. The substantial element of the 
business citizenship of Trenton, Ohio, has a capable and worthy 
representative in the person of August K. Augspurger who has 
been identified with the business interests of the village since 1900, 
and is recognized as one of the progressive and enterprising citizens 
of the community. He was born on a farm in Madison township, 
Butler county, May 8, 1865, a son of Moses and Fannie (Kinsinger) 
Augspurger, the former a native of near Seven Mile, Ohio, and the 
latter of Baden, Germany. The paternal grandfather of Mr. 
Augspurger, a native of Alsace-Lorraine, emigrated to the United 
States as a young man and settled first at Seven Mile, but in later 
years moved to south of Trenton, where he engaged in farming and 




A. K. AUGSPURGER 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 21 

also operated a distillery. He was the father of the following 
children : David, Moses, Catherine, now Mrs. Peter ImhoflF.and Jose- 
phine, now Mrs. Joseph Meyers. Moses Augspurger received a coun- 
try school education, and as a young man applied his energies to the 
vocation of agriculture, an occupation which interested his best 
efforts until the death of his second wife, at which time he retired 
from active affairs and removed to Trenton, where his death 
occurred in November, 1906. His first wife bore the name of Fannie 
Fry, and they were the parents of four children : Moses ; Jacob, 
deceased ; Joseph ; and John, deceased. Joseph is a resident of 
Trenton, and Moses lives in Idaho. After the death of his first 
wife Mr. Augspurger married Fannie Kinsinger, and they became 
the parents of two children : Catherine and August K., the former 
of whom is single and makes her home at Trenton. The parents 
of these children were all members of the Mennonite faith. August 
K. Augspurger is indebted to the public schools of Madison town- 
ship for his educational instruction and to the home farm for his 
vocational training. After he had laid aside his school books he 
turned his attention unreservedly to farming, which he continued 
until 19CX), at that time embarking in commercial affairs as the 
proprietor of a hardware store at Trenton, which he still conducts. 
In 1912 he associated himself with the Trenton Grain & Coal 
company, of which he is president and manager. In the meantime, 
he has interested himself also in financial affairs, and in the capacity 
of vice-president lends strength and individual ability and industry 
to the affairs of the Bank of Trenton. In 1915 Mr. Augspurger 
organized the Miami Valley Real Estate agency, of which he is 
president, and is conducting an extensive business in this field of 
activity. Although essentially a business man, he has not given 
up his interest in agricultural affairs, as he is still the owner of 
eighty acres of land, highly cultivated and very valuable, the old 
home place which lies one mile south of Trenton. While he is not 
a public man or politician, he is a good citizen, conversant with all 
leading topics of the day, and a supporter of worthy movements, 
as was shown during the great war, when he contributed generously. 
Mr. Augspurger was married in 1891 to Ida E., daughter of Joseph 
and Helen (Kennel) Kinsinger, of Madison township, Butler 
county, and they are the parents of one son : Herbert J., bom 
October 14, 1894, who is a graduate of high school and his father's 
capable and enterprising assistant. The elder Augspurger is a 
thirty-second degree Mason and is popular in the various branches 
of his order. With his wife and son, he belongs to the Mennonite 
church. 

Julius Bachmann. As a resident of Middletown for a period of 
thirty-seven years, Julius Bachmann was successful in business 
matters and in the making of many warm friendships, and in the 
evening of life had much to look at in retrospect, over the years of 
a prosperous career. Mr. Bachmann, now deceased October 21, 
1919, was born in Germany, in 1846, and there received his education 
in the public schools. With the idea of preparing himself for competi- 
tion in the business world, he learned the business of brewing, and 



22 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

when he came to the United States, in September, 1867, having 
just passed his majority, he was fully skilled in his art and had no 
trouble in finding employment at Baltimore, where he remained for 
three years. In 1870 he removed to Cincinnati, where he continued to 
work at the brewing business and which was his home until May, 
1882, the date that noted his advent in Middletown. Upon his arrival 
here he entered the employ of the Seybold Brewing company, but 
after four years decided to embark in business on his own account, 
and accordingly opened a retail liquor establishment, secured the 
agency for the Lion brand of beer. H'e also retailed wines, liquors 
and cigars and conducted his establishment upon straightforward 
business methods and had a well equipped house. He was an 
affable, genial man, courteous and obliging, and never had trouble 
in making friends or in keeping them. At Cincinnati, in 1872, Mr. 
Bachmann was united in marriage with Miss Helena Koepff, 
daughter of George Frederick and Dorothea (Noldna) Koepff, 
natives of Germany. On coming to the United States Mr. Koepff 
first settled in business at Indianapolis, Ind., where he opened a 
large pork packing plant, but later went to Cincinnati, where he 
embarked in the brush manufacturing business, with which he 
continued to be identified until his death. While a very young 
woman, residing at Cincinnati, Mrs. Bachmann had the distinction 
and privilege of meeting President Abraham Lincoln on two oc- 
casions. To Mr. and Mrs. Bachmann the following children were 
born : Ferdinand Lewis ; Helen Christina ; August ; Julius, wTio is 
deceased ; Dora, now Mrs. C. Miller, of Kokomo, Ind. ; Elsie Minnie, 
now Mrs. Frank Simpson ; Koepfif Harrison, of Cambridge, Ind. ; 
and John George Garfield, who crossed the seas to France with the 
American army. Mr. Bachmann was well known fraternally, 
belonging to Schiller Lodge, Knights of Pythias, of Cincinnati ; 
Middletown Lodge, No. 528, of the order of Eagles ; the Improved 
Order of Red Men ; and Haymakers, and was, with Mrs. Bach- 
mann, an attendant at the St. Paul's church. Politically he sup- 
ported the principles of the Republican party and was quite 
influential in his community, but this was extended to his friends 
and never exerted in bis personal behalf. His support was never 
withheld from worthy movements and he was always an advocate 
of progressiveness in civic enterprises. 

Harry R. Bacon, who owns and operates a modern and sanitary 
bakery at 29^4 High street, Hamilton, Ohio, is one of the business 
men of Butler county who is deserving of special commendation, for 
in spite of losses and obstacles which would have utterly discouraged 
the average man, he has gone steadily ahead and today is on the 
road leading towards a prosperity greater than that which he lost 
through misfortunes not of his own causing. Mr. Bacon was born 
at Oxford, Ohio, September 22, 1871, a son of Mahlon P. and Cath- 
erine (Fowler) Bacon. The paternal grandfather was born in Eng- 
land, but came to the United States, and located in Maryland, when 
still a lad. His educational training was confined to that offered by 
the common schools of his day and neighborhood, and he early be- 
came self-supporting, working first at logging, and later at farming. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 23 

He later moved to Oxford, Ohio, and was interested there in log- 
ging and farming until his retirement. His death occurred in 1875, 
when he had reached the unusual age of ninety-four years. The 
paternal grandmother bore the maiden name of Mary Cameron, and 
she was born in Scotland. There were nine children in the grand- 
parents' family, all of whom are now deceased. Mahlon P. Bacon 
was born at Oxford, Ohio, February 5, 1822, and after he completed 
his attendance at the common schools of his locality, he embarked 
in farming, and was so engaged in Oxford township, until he at- 
tained his majority, when he bought a farm of his own, married a 
Philadelphia lady, Catherine Fowler, and settled down on his prop- 
erty. For one term he served as trustee of Oxford township, being 
elected on the Republican ticket, and he always gave the candidates 
of that party a faithful support. He and his wife had the following 
children : George, who married Mary Lintner, they have five chil- 
dren and own a farm at Somerville, Ohio ; Edward, who married 
Anna Spivey, is in a transfer business at Lindenwald, Ohio; Frank, 
who married Bridget Leonard, has eleven children, and is a general 
contractor of East Hamilton, Ohio; John, who married Mary With- 
row, has six children, and is engaged in farming near Somerville, 
Ohio ; Sadie, who married S. M. Holbrook, is now a widow and lives 
at San Francisco, Cal. ; Stella, who married Thomas Hicks, has no 
children, and lives at Louisville, Ky. ; and Harry R., who was the 
fifth in order of birth. Harry R. Bacon attended the common schools 
of Oxford, Ohio, and for two years the Jacksonboro High school, 
having for a fellow student a lad who afterwards became governor 
of Ohio, James Cox. After leaving school, Harry R. Bacon was en- 
gaged in farming near Seven Mile, Ohio, until he reached the age 
of twenty-three years, when he moved to Hamilton, Ohio, and was 
in a bicycle business for three years. In 1897, Mr. Bacon began 
canvassing from house to house for orders for a tea, coffee and ex- 
tract house, and not only was very successful in his work, but learned 
the business so thoroughly and the requirements of the trade, com- 
ing as he did in direct contact with it, that in 1900, he opened a 
store of his own, on Front and High streets, Hamilton, Ohio. The 
knowledge and experience he had gained as a solicitor stood him in 
such good stead, that by 1913 he had branched out to such an extent 
that he had four tea and coffee stores, one bakery, and owned three 
lots, two residences and one stable. All of his holdings were en- 
tirely wiped out by the destructive flood of 1913, his loss amounting 
to $20,000.00. As though this were not enough discouragement, 
hardly had Mr. Bacon begun to get upon his feet, than on Christ- 
mas night, 1913, he suffered another loss, this time from fire, his 
bakery and the stable in the rear, together with four horses in the 
stable were burned, and he was only partly protected by insurance. 
Once more Mr. Bacon began at the bottom and worked his way up, 
and his efforts were rewarded, so that in May, 1918, he was able to 
open his new bakery at 29^ High street, where he has since con- 
tinued. In 1896 Mr. Bacon was united in marriage with the daugh- 
ter of Jacob and Magdelena Young, natives of Germany and Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio, respectively. Jacob Young came to the United States 



24 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

in 1855, and lived for a time at Chicago, 111. When he was forty- 
five years old, he was married, and they later moved to Hamlton, 
Ohio. They had five children born to them, of whom two now sur- 
vive, one being Mrs. Bacon, and the other, Mrs. Anna Johnson, who 
lives in Hamilton. One daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Bacon, 
Fern Catherine, in 1897, on October 27 , the same day of the month 
as Theodore Roosevelt, a fact of which the young lady is very proud. 
She is exceptionally gifted, her high soprano voice gaining for her 
the title of Hamilton's "sweetest singer." She was graduated from 
the Notre Dame Academy at the age of sixteen years, one year 
earlier than the usual course allows, on account of her hard work 
and exceptional capabilities. At the time of her graduation, she 
was awarded a silver medal on account of her progress in music, 
and she is an accomplished pianist, while her voice, of exceptional 
tone and quality, is still being carefully trained. The fame of this 
beautiful voice is not a local one, and those who understand its value 
from a professional standpoint, predict a wonderful future for this 
gifted girl in the musical world. During the administration of 
Mayor Fred A. Hinkle, Mr. Bacon served as a member of the civil 
service commission, and was a careful and efficient official. His fra- 
ternal affiliations are with the Elks, Moose and Foresters. Mr. 
Bacon is well known as one who has always been alert and vigilant 
in behalf of his customers, and served them so well that they have 
ever been ready to follow him in his undertakings, and render him 
support when he met with those overwhelming losses, from which 
he is now recovering through his praiseworthy exertions. 

John Bailey. While many years have passed since the death of 
John Bailey, mention is due his memory, as he had been one of the 
early residents and highly respected citizens of Preble county, where 
for some years, prior to his early demise in 1875, he had been en- 
gaged in agricultural pursuits. The family is still well represented 
in the Miami valley, and his widow, Mrs. Lydia Bailey, and son, 
William H. Bailey, now live on a valuable and well-cultivated farm 
in Madison township, Butler county. John Bailey was born near 
Eldorado, Preble county, O., in 1839, a son of John and Mary (Clark) 
Bailey, natives of Pennsylvania. From the Keystone state they 
made their way as a young married couple to Preble county, where 
they took up the hard duties connected with the development of a 
farm from the wilderness, a task which was accomplished after years 
of faithful and persevering labor. They contributed materially to 
the early progress and development of their community and were 
highly esteemed as belonging to that class of sturdy, self-reliant 
people who paved the way for future settlement and civilization. 
John Bailey the elder died on his farm in Preble county, following 
which his widow went to Darke county, where her demise occurred. 
They were the parents of twelve children, of whom but three are 
living : Samuel, of New Madison, Ohio ; James, of Winchester, Ind. ; 
and Hiram, of Benton Harbor, Mich. John Bailey the younger grew 
up at his home in Preble county, O., where he attended the public 
schools, and was his father's assistant until his marriage, in the 
spring of 1860, to Lydia Weikel. She was born in Madison town- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 25 

ship, Butler county, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Buck) 
Weikel, and a history of her family will be found elsewhere in this 
work in the sketch of J. C. Weikel. After his marriage Mr. Bailey 
settled on a farm near New Paris, Preble county, where he was en- 
gaged in agricultural operations during the remainder of his life, 
and where he died at the age of thirty-six years, March 10, 1875. 
In politics Mr. Bailey was a Republican, but never cared for office, 
although a good and valued citizen. Had he not been called by 
death so early in his career he would have doubtless achieved a 
marked success. As it was he displayed ability that accomplished 
excellent results. His religious faith was that of the Universalists. 
Mr. and Mrs. Bailey became the parents of six children : William 
H., born August 9, 1860, at New Paris ; Elizabeth, the wife of James 
Shafer, a merchant of Jacksonboro, Ohio ; Simon, an operator of 
Benton Harbor, Mich., married Kate Weir; John, a farmer in Illi- 
nois ; Kate, the wife of William Keiser, of Douglas county. 111. ; and 
Horace, manager of a business in Camden, O., who married Ebbie 
Overholt. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Bailey lived at 
Camden, O., until 1892, at which time she moved to a farm of 180 
acres, in Madison township, Butler county, where she still makes her 
home, being one of the highly esteemed ladies of her community. 
Her son, William H. Bailey, was educated in the public schools of 
Camden and Eldorado, O., and has always resided at home, where 
he has been actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. While he is 
a general farmer, he has been successful in his specialty of raising 
Shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs, and as a progressive man, 
uses modern methods and keeps abreast of the advancements in his 
vocation. He has always been a great reader and is well posted on 
current events, and while his connection with politics is limited to 
his casting his vote on the Republican ticket, he takes much interest 
in township affairs. His fraternal connection is with the Modern 
Woodmen of America, at Middletown, and his contributions to re- 
ligious movements are numerous and generous. 

Leroy Bailey, son of Arley W. and Alice (Summerton) Bailey, 
was born June 20, 1895, in Middletown, Ohio, where he attended 
the public schools, graduating from the high school with the class 
of 1911. He also attended the Spencerian college at Cincinnati and 
after leaving this school accepted a position with the American 
Rolling- mill where he was up to the time of his enlistment. He 
enlisted in the U. S. Marines, April 19, 1917, was sent at once to 
France ; was gassed at Verdun, from the effects of which he was 
blind for over two months and confined to the hospital for a period 
of eleven months. He returned from France December 9, 1918, and 
leceived his discharge June 30, 1919. On April 21, 1919, Mr. Bailey 
married Gertrude DuErmit, daughter of Joseph F. and Margaret 
(Kuderer) DuErmit, of Blue Ash, Ohio. Her parents are living 
and she has a sister and three brothers : Helen, J. Warren, Edward 
and Lester. J. Warren enlisted with the U. S. Marines, April 1, 
1917, and served in France until the signing of the Armistice and 
received his discharge in August, 1919. Mr. Bailey's parents now 
live in Oklahoma, and he has two brothers, Arthur and Wilson, the 



26 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

latter in the U. S. Navy after a period of service in the late war. 
Mr. Bailey is a first-class young man and merits success. He is a 
member of United Brethren church ; in politics, liberal. 

Thomas Bailey, Sr. One of the oldest employees of the American 
Rolling mill, at Middletovi^n, is Thomas Bailey, sr., whose service 
with this company began in 1901 and whose work has been charac- 
terized by fidelity, industry and skilled performance of duty. Like 
many others who are engaged in steel work, he entered upon his 
career as a railroad man, but early developed a liking for his present 
calling, in which he has found contentment and success. Mr. Bailey 
was born at Pittsburg, Pa., November 24, 1851, a son of Thomas 
and Anna (Thompson) Bailey. His parents, natives of England, 
emigrated to the United States during the '40s, settling at Pitts- 
burg, where the following six children were born : Martha, who is 
the wife of James A. Hunter and lives at the old home place at 
Latrobe, Pa. ; John, who joined the regular army before the Civil 
war and was wounded during that conflict ; Will and David, who 
are deceased ; Anna, who is the widow of Don Nale ; and Thomas. 
Thomas Bailey, sr., received a public school education and was 
reared on the home farm in the vicinity of Latrobe, Pa., where he 
followed farming until he was eighteen years of age. At that time 
he was lured from the parental roof by the attraction and glamour 
of railroad life, but the better remuneration and chance for advance- 
ment led him into the steel industry, with which he has since been 
identified. For some years he was located in the big plant at Muncie, 
Ind., but in 1901 came to the American Rolling mill at Middletown, 
where he has since been employed in the capacity of roller. During 
his nineteen years of service he has performed his duties so faith- 
fully and efficiently that he has won and held the confidence and es- 
teem of his employers, while among his fellows he is popular because 
of his good comradeship and many sterling qualities of character. 
Mr. Bailey is a Republican and a member of the Amalgamated As- 
sociation of Iron and Steel Workers and the Benevolent and Protect- 
ive Order of Elks. His religious connection is with the Lutheran 
church. He married Carrie L., daughter of Bryan and Mary A. 
Wolf, and she died February 5, 1905, having been the mother of 
these children : Thomas and Will, of Middletown ; Mary A., who is 
the wife of A. Woods, of Middletown, and has a little son, Samuel 
Shaylor, born in September, 1917; LeRoy, of Detroit, Mich.; Carrie, 
the wife of Carl Sixt, of Middletown ; Berenice, the wife of Morris 
Baker, of Detroit ; Walter, also of that city ; David, who is a sailor in 
the United States Navy; and Lorella, twin of David, deceased, and 
Robert and Kenneth. After the death of the mother, the eldest 
daughter, Mary, took upon her young shoulders the duties of bring- 
ing up the younger children, and performed her part ably and well. 
She has hosts of friends at Middletown who will attest her lovable 
qualities, and has been constant and self-sacrificing in her care of 
her father, who now makes his home with her and her husband at 
the pleasant and comfortable Woods home, located on 1016 Craw- 
ford street, Middletown. Thomas Bailey, sr., is the grandparent of 
twelve grandchildren : Samuel S. Woods, son of Mrs. Woods ; Wil- 




THOMAS BAILEY, SR. 




MRS. CARRIE L. BAILEY 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 21 

liam and Dale, sons of William E. ; Ruth, Davis and Leroy, sons of 
Carrie N. ; John and Harold, sons of Berenice ; and four, mention of 
whom will be found in the sketch of Thomas Bailey, jr. 

Thomas B. Bailey, jr., who occupies the position of sheet roller 
at the plant of the American Rolling mill, at Middletown, has ex- 
emplified in his career the value of industry and diligence when com- 
bined to natural ability, as applied to the following of a useful trade. 
From young manhood he has been employed in the industry of which 
he is now a member and in its persistent and careful prosecution he 
has found not only contentment and prosperity but the medium 
through which he has been able to gain an acknowledged position 
among his fellow-citizens. Mr. Bailey was born at Scottdale, Pa., 
November 4, 1880, a son of Thomas and the late Carrie (Wolf) 
Bailey. The family originated in England, but became early set- 
tlers of Pennsylvania, from which state Thomas Bailey the elder 
took his wife and children to Muncie, Ind. In 1901 he became a 
resident of Middletown, where he was one of the first employees of 
the American Rolling mill, with which he is still identified. Mrs. 
Bailey died February 2, 1906, at Middletown. She bad been the 
mother of the following children : William, a residen,'. of Middle- 
town ; May, the wife of Albert Wood ; Roy, a resident of Detroit ; 
Carrie, the wife of Carl Sixt of Kyles, Ohio ; Bernice, who married 
Maurice Baker, of Detroit; Thomas B. jr.; Walter of Detroit; 
David, in the United States Navy ; and Kenneth, of Middletown. 
Thomas B. Bailey, jr., received his education in the public schools 
of Scottdale, Pa., and Muncie, Ind., and in the latter city first applied 
himself to the learning of his trade. Having successfully passed his 
apprenticeship, he became a journeyman and worked in several mills 
prior to coming to Middletown in 1901. At that time he had just 
about reached his majority and entered the American Rolling mill 
as one of its first employees, with which plant he has been connected 
ever since, being now the incumbent of a position as sheet roller. 
He is one of the reliable and trustworthy men of his department and 
in his work is accurate and expeditious. Mr. Bailey was married at 
Middletown, August 16, 1905, to Mary, daughter of William and 
Joanna (Durbin) Weaver, who reside at Middletown. Mrs. Bailey 
has three sisters: Edith, the wife of Wendell Butterfield, of 
Rochester, N. Y. ; Bessie, the wife of Orville Dorman, of Cambridge, 
Ohio; and Helen, the wife of Rev. J. A. Hoffman, of Marysville, 
Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey are the parents of four children : Louise, 
born June 7, 1906 ; Paul David, born June 9, 1908 ; Martha Jane, born 
June 27, 1910; and Thomas III, born October 12, 1911. Mr. Bailey 
has built one of the most beautiful residences on Yankee road. He 
is a Republican in politics, but is liberal in local affairs, and takes 
only a good citizen's part and interest in matters of a public char- 
acter. His religious connection and that of Mrs. Bailey is with the 
Methodist church. 

Rev. Timothy A. Bailey. Father Bailey, who has been pastor of 
St. Mary's Catholic church of Oxford since 1913, was bom at Spring- 
field, Ohio, April 20, 1879, a son of John and Bridget (Nolan) Bailey, 
who passed their entire married life at Springfield, where John Bailey 



28 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

died about 1899, while his widow still survives him and makes her 
home there. There were six children in the family, namely : Stephen, 
James, John, Ellen, Sarah and Timothy. As a lad, Timothy A. 
Bailey attended the parochial schools of Springfield. At a very 
early period in his life he evidenced a predilection for study, and 
whatever leisure could be found when his home tasks were done was 
turned to the acquisition of knowledge. He had the power of con- 
centration and therefore the gift of memory, qualities which have 
converted his brain into a veritable storehouse of profound and use- 
ful knowledge. He pursued his theological studies at Mount St. 
Mary's seminary, Cincinnati, and in 1904 was ordained at St. Peter's 
cathedral, by Archbishop Henry Moeller. After ordination he was 
stationed at the cathedral at Cincinnati for two years, and thereafter 
maintained his research along theological lines until entering upon 
his active ministerial career at Loveland, Ohio, where for five years 
he was pastor of St. Columbianna's church. In 1913 he came to Ox- 
ford as pastor of St. Mary's Catholic church, where his labors have 
entitled his name to be enrolled among those who have deepened and 
broadened the channels of human brotherhood. St. Mary's church 
has 300 souls in Oxford and the surrounding community, and in ad- 
dition Father Bailey makes mission trips to College Corner and 
Somerville. February 17, 1917, St. Mary's church was destroyed 
by fire, but since that time, through the zealous and persistent work 
of Father Bailey, funds have been raised, and the erection of a new 
and handsome edifice is now under way. He was appointed irre- 
movable pastor of St. Edwaid church, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 
6, 1919. 

Joseph H. Baird, who during his life was known as one of 
Lemon township's most successful farmers and after his retirement 
from farm life became a resident of Middletown, died July 15, 1919, 
at the home of his son-in-law, F. W. Compton, near Monroe. He 
was born on a farm in Lemon township, east of Middletown, Butler 
county, Ohio, February 22, 1847, a son of James and Mary (Weaver) 
Baird. The family was founded in Ohio by his grandfather, Joseph 
Weaver, who migrated from New York at an early day. He was a 
tailor by trade, with little save book knowledge of farming condi- 
tions or methods, but having the courageous spirit of the pioneers 
he faced unafraid the hardships and perils of settlement in a new 
country. The locality in which he settled, near Jacksonboro, was all 
a wilderness, but he put up his log cabin, and cleared his land, and 
before he died had made appreciable progress in the development of 
a good farm. He was the father of seven sons and three daughters. 
James Baird, the father of Joseph H. Baird, was born in the state of 
New York and was still a child when brought by his parents to the 
wilderness near Jacksonboro. The schools at that time being of 
the most primitive kind, difficult to reach and with but short sessions, 
the lad was given only a limited education, although he made the 
most of his opportunities. After several years of residence near 
Jacksonboro, he bought a home at Middletown, but eventually pur- 
chased a farm in Lemon township, which he continued to operate 
during the remainder of his life. He died on his valuable property 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 29 

when eighty years of age, and Mrs. Baird has also long since passed 
away. They were members of the old school Baptist church, and 
were people who were widely and well known in their community 
and highly respected and esteemed. Mr. Baird was originally a 
Whig in his political views, and later, with the forming of the Re- 
publican party, joined that movement. Mr. and Mrs. Baird were the 
parents of two children : Jane, deceased, who was the wife of David 
Quinn ; and Joseph H. Joseph H. Baird enjoyed such educational 
advantages as were to be gained through attendance at the district 
school of his native community, and, being the only son of his par- 
ents, remained on the homestead and assisted his father. He was 
first married October 26, 1870, to Miss Sarah L. Lucas, of Butler 
county, Ohio, who died in 1902, having been the mother of two chil- 
dren : Mary, who married Frank W. Compton, an elevator owner 
and stockman of Lemon township; and James W., conducting op- 
erations on his father's old farm, who married Effie Hendrickson, 
and has four sons, Elmer, Joseph, Raymond and Arthur. Mr. Baird 
was again married to Sarah L. Banker, of Butler county, Ohio, who 
died July 27, 1917. In 1872 Mr. Baird located on a farm north of 
Middletown, a tract of 218 acres, on which he resided for a period 
of seventeen years, and in 1889 bought another property, of 186 
acres, on Dix creek. Lemon township. There he made many val- 
uable improvements and carried on a general farming business, in 
addition to raising all kinds of stock, until 1902, when he retired and 
turned the active work of the farm over to his son. When he laid 
aside active labor, Mr. Baird moved to his modern and handsome 
home at No. 913 E. Third street, Middletown. Mr. Baird was al- 
ways a public-spirited citizen and at all times ready to carry out in 
full the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. In 1910 he was 
elected the first mayor of the thriving little town of Monroe, and 
during his administration his splendid business and executive ability 
was brought into play in securing a number of needed reforms and 
civic improvements for that place. He was also a staunch friend 
of education and for twelve years was a member of the local board 
of school directors. He voted the Republican ticket. His religious 
connection was with the old school Baptist church, of which both 
his wives were members. 

Henry L. Bake. The true standard by which to judge a com- 
munity is the character of its prominent citizens. Progress is rarely, 
if ever, a result of chance, but always the execution of well-laid 
plans based on a thorough comprehension of the laws of business 
and finance. It is only by keeping in view the lives of men who are 
ever associated in the busy marts of commerce that we can judge of 
the importance of development, and the possibilities of progress. 
Thus it is that from the commercial, more than the literary or 
political, side that the most valuable lessons of life are to be ex- 
tracted. In this connection, as a gentleman whose business and 
financial qualifications are of the best, it is eminently fitting to men- 
tion the career of Henry L. Bake, president of the Farmers State 
bunk of College Corner, Ohio, who has been engaged in general 
merchandising here since 1873 and is one of the community's most 



30 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

highly esteemed citizens. Mr. Bake belongs to an old and honored 
family, and traces his ancestry to Christian Bake, of Switzerland, 
born 1713, the first of the name in America, who came to this country 
in 1727 and located in Hunterdon county, N. J., where he died in 
1783. His oldest son, John, was born in New Jersey, in 1748, and 
came to Ohio in 1807, settling for a time at Cincinnati, and then mov- 
ing on to Fountain county, Ind., in 1838. His oldest son, Jacob, was 
the great-grandfather of Henry L. Bake, and his son, William Bake, 
also a native of Hunterdon county, N. J., came to Fountain county, 
Ind., in 1806, and died in October, 1849. He was a justice of the 
peace in Union county, Ind., and eventually settled on Indian creek, 
having a farm and gristmill four and one-half miles west of Oxford, 
Ohio. His eldest son was William Bake, and the father of fourteen 
children. He was born October 5, 1797, in New Jersey, and removed 
to Indiana in 1806, settling in Union county, but died in Franklin 
county, that state, June 15, 1852. He was a farmer and also owned 
a grist and saw mill on Indian creek. His children were : Perry, 
born in Franklin county, Ind., June 27, 1827, a farmer on Indian 
creek. The oldest son of Perry Bake was James A. Bake, of Hamil- 
ton, Ohio. The father of Henry L. Bake was Peter Bake, who was 
born in Union county, Ind., February 11, 1804. He was educated in 
the common schools, securing what was considered a good educa- 
tion for those days, and was long engaged in agricultural pursuits, 
also being the owner of a distillery, the product of which was sold 
at Cincinnati. He died September 4, 1868, after a long and honor- 
able career. In politics he was a Democrat, and he and his wife were 
Universalists. She bore the maiden name of Tobitha Phems, and 
was born in North Carolina, and died July 20, 1888. They were 
the parents of William, born July 20, 1828, was a sawmill man, and 
died August 29, 1914; Eliza, born October 29, 1829, married John 
Hannah, and resided at Des Moines, Iowa, where she died ; Franklin, 
born November 16, 1835, and passed his life as a farmer; Lorinda M., 
born in November, 1839, married William Murphy, and died Octo- 
ber 11, 1866. Henry L. Bake was born in Union county, Ind., July 
8, 1847, and was educated in the rural schools, residing at home until 
1868, when he secured a position as clerk in a store at Contreras, 
Butler county, where he remained something more than three years. 
In 1873 he came to College Corner, where he built a general store, 
and conducted it six years, and during that time so developed his 
business that he needed larger quarters and accordingly built, in 
1879, his present establishment, which has continued to be the lead- 
ing enterprise of its kind at this live and thriving locality. He has 
made his establishment modern in every respect, and has shown 
marked ability as a merchant, carefully studying the needs and wants 
of his patrons and employing up-to-date methods in the handling 
of his large, well-arranged and carefully selected stock of goods. 
In 1895 Mr. Bake assisted in the establishment of the Farmers State 
bank of College Corner, of which he has since been president, a 
position in which he has been the principal factor in making it one 
of the sound and well established financial institutions of Butler 
county. Mr. Bake has never aspired to public ofifice, and his only 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 31 

connection with politics has been as a Democratic voter. He has 
taken a leading part, however, in movements which have benefited 
the locality, and has always stood for progress and advancement and 
for good citizenship. He was married October 26, 1870, to Sallie A. 
Ridenour, who was born in Preble county, Ohio, a daughter of Isaac 
Ridenour. Mrs. Bake died May 9, 1917, leaving one son : Murry, 
born May 4, 1880, in Union county, Ind., a graduate of the College 
Corner High school, who has always been associated in business 
with his father. He married Grace L. Earhart, of Butler county, 
Ohio, and they have a daughter, Neva. Murry Bake is a member of 
the Knights of Pythias. The daughter of Henry L. Bake, Daisy C, 
was born in December, 1871, and died April 22, 1908, as the wife of 
Arthur H. Jones, by whom she had two children: Nellie E. and 
Harry L. Harry L. Jones, born in 1895, served for three years as 
first lieutanent in the World war overseas, during which time he 
filled several important positions. 

W. E. Bake, prominent auctioneer and well known farmer of 
College "Corner, was born in Franklin county, Ind., January 12, 
1869, a son of Perry and Mary Elizabeth (Stevenson) Bake. Perry 
Bake was born in Franklin county, and his wife in Union county, 
Ind. The parents of Mrs. Bake, the Stevensons, came from the east 
to Union county some years before. William Edward Bake, the 
paternal grandparent of W. E. Bake, bought land in Franklin 
county from the government. To him and his wife were born four- 
teen children, twelve of whom reached maturity. They were : 
James, Sam, John, Henry, Jacob, and Perry ; Betsy, who married P. 
Farr; Catherine, who married Freeman Kimble; Sarah, who married 
Philip Mericle; Julia, who married Francis Mericle; Clarissa, who 
married Abraham Jones; and Phoebe. Of the twelve children, 
James is the only one living. Perry and Mary Bake, the parents of 
W. E. Bake, were residents of Franklin county, Ind., where Mr. Bake 
was a farmer. To them were born the following children : Clara, 
James, O. M. Bake, a former bank president, and now deceased ; 
Charles, and W. E. Bake. Perry Bake and wife were members of 
the Universalist church, and the remains of both lie buried in the 
Universalist cemetery in Union county. W. E. Bake was educated 
in the common schools of Franklin county, and in later years was 
married to Emma Ardery, who became the mother of one son, Oak- 
ley, now a farmer of Union county, Ind. Mrs. Bake passed away a 
few years after her marriage, and W. E. Bake later married Edith 
Pentecost, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Pentecost, of Union 
county, Ind. To them was born one daughter, Gertrude. About 
1900, W. E. Bake moved to the Indiana side of College Corner, and 
today devotes most of his time to auctioneering, at which he is 
greatly successful. He is the owner of the farm occupied by his 
son, Oakley, in Union township. For a number of years W. E. Bake 
was trustee of Union township. Union county, and is a member of 
the Republican party. He is also prominent in K. of P. circles. 
During the recent war, Mr. Bake gave unsparingly of time and 
effort to the many causes of America and her Allies, and achieved a 
great amount of work in all lines. 



32 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Albert Milton Baker, subject of this sketch, and son of Andrew 
B. and Hannah (Kline) Baker, was born in Armstrong county, Pa., 
February 11, 1883, and married Rose Bletzacher, born January 25, 
1880, a daughter of Martin and Catharine Stalter, of Somerset, 
Ohio, June 25, 1905. Five children were born to this union : 
Louella, Bernadine, Albert, jr., Agnes and Edward. Mr. Baker had 
ten sisters and brothers : William and Carrie, deceased ; Ira, of 
Hyde Park, Pa.; Merle, in France; Kate, Mrs. Jack Cunningham, 
of LaPorte, Ind. ; Lola, Mrs. Irving Blystone, deceased; Sadie, Mrs. 
William Bahmith, of Vandergrift, Pa. ; Mildred, of Leechburg, Pa. ; 
Ora, Mrs. E. McLane, in Canton, Ohio ; Wilda, of Hyde Park, Pa. 
The parents live in Hyde Park. Mrs. Baker has four sisters : 
Florence, Mrs. John Dittoe, of Somerset, Ohio ; Lizzie, Mrs. Jess 
Green, of Columbus, Ohio ; Mary, Mrs. William Carney, and Clara, 
Mrs. Omar Schneider, both in Somerset. Mrs. Baker's parents 
came from Alsace-Lorraine. Her father died March 12, 1908, at 
Somerset, Ohio. He was a miner, but also owned a farm on which 
the mother now lives. For a number of years, Mr. Baker was 
employed in the Rolling mills in his home place. He next went 
to the mills in Zanesville for a short period and September 21, 1905, 
took a position as shearman in the plant of the American Rolling 
Mill company at Middletown. Mr. Baker has substantial interests 
in Middletown, and owns a splendid property on Woodland avenue, 
which is the home of the family. He is a member o.f Holy Trinity 
church and also a member of the order of Eagles, and politically 
votes the Democratic ticket. 

Isaac C. Baker. Among the men elected to official position 
in Butler county, November 8, 1918, one whose previous record, 
general qualifications for ability and character gave every ground 
for his successful career as prosecuting attorney, was Isaac C. 
Baker. Mr. Baker has the reputation of being an indefatigable 
worker, combining scholarship with an active energy and forceful 
personality. These qualities have been much esteemed in his new 
position, where, at the outset, the citizens of Butler county hoped to 
place a man who would lend thorough integrity and practical 
efficiency to the administration. Mr. Baker was born at Hamilton, 
October 9, 1888, a son of Benjamin and Jennie (Mee) Baker. He 
belongs to a family which settled at an early date in this country's 
history in New Jersey, from which state his great-great-grandfather, 
Daniel Baker, enlisted for service in the Revolutionary war. in 
which he acted as an aide-de-camp to General Washington. The 
family later became pioneers of Milford township, Butler county, 
where was born Benjamin Baker. The latter entered upon his 
career as a farmer, but subsequently turned his attention to the 
profession of law, and after studying at Miami university and the 
Cincinnati Law school, was admitted to the state bar, and for a 
number of years practiced at Hamilton and Somerville, at which 
latter place his death occurred, and he was buried there. They had 
three children : John, is single ; Isaac C. ; and Benjamin, who is still 
attending school. Isaac C. Baker attended the public school of 
Hamilton, and in 1911 was graduated with his degree of Bachelor 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 33 

of Law from the law department of Ohio State university. He 
immediately entered upon the practice of his profession, at first with 
his father at Hamilton and Somerville, at which place he resides. 
When he was twenty-one years of age he was elected mayor of 
Somerville, and this position he retained until November 5, 1918, 
when he was elected prosecuting attorney of Butler county. He 
has had practice in all of the courts and experience in divers and 
many important cases. A strong and forceful speaker, he has been 
active on the stump during political campaigns, and in the war 
period was most efi'ective as a "Four Minute Man." Fraternally, he 
holds membership in the local lodges of the Benevolent and Protec- 
tive Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Loyal Order 
of Moose. Mr. Baker married Ruth, daughter of E. C. Muff, of 
Somerville, and they have one child: Carlyle, born May 25, 1911. 
Mr. and Mrs. Baker are members of the Methodist church. 

Nicholas Baker, founder of the Baker family, was born and grew 
to manhood in Hesse Cassel, Germany. There he met and married 
Christina Eckhart. Shortly thereafter he sold his patrimony and on 
receiving that money he and his young wife sailed for America. 
They landed in Philadelphia 150 years ago, and traveled from there 
to the Moravian settlement, in Northampton county, where both 
lived and died, and they had there born to them sons and daughters. 
The son Jacob was the father of George Baker, sr., and he removed 
to the Iron bridge, on Jacob's creek, in Fayette county. Pa., where 
he died. His sons were Nicholas Daniel, Peter, David, George and 
Jacob. At Iron Bridge, the elder Baker married a second time, his 
wife being Nancy Howell McCauley, daughter of John and Nancy 
(Howell) McCauley. She was the daughter of Griffith Howell, of 
Baltimore, and sister of John Howell, said to be the architect of the 
old Baltimore courthouse destroyed in a riot in that city. Her sister 
married David Cannon, founder of Cannonsburg, Washington 
county. Pa. George Baker, great-grandfather of our subject, and 
his brother, Jacob, removed to Armstrong county. Pa., about the 
year 1838. Jacob, who was married to Elizabeth Klingensmith, was 
a soldier in the war of 1812. George Baker bought 600 acres of land 
in Armstrong county, Pa., on the site now known as Cochran's mills, 
and lived and died there. His sons and daughters were : Griffith, 
born July 16, 1809; married Christene Klingensmith; they had three 
sons and four daughters ; David, born March 14, 1811, married Janet 
Rutherford Query, they had two sons and one daughter ; by his sec- 
ond marriage to Anna Myers, he had one son and one daughter; 
Jane, born January 9, 1814, married George Martz, left no children; 
Priscilla, born March 23, 1816, married Armour Speer, they had five 
sons and four daughters ; John, born April 1, 1818, married Catherine 
Grinder, they had five sons and three daughters ; George, born 
March 26, 1820, married Mary Willburn, they had one son and eight 
daughters ; Mary Ann, born March 19, 1822, married George Miller, 
they had one daughter; Jacob, born March, 1824, married Jane 
Kirkland, they had two sons and three daughters; Lovina, born 
March 13, 1827, died. May 27, 1864; Jehu Howell, born January 14, 



34 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

1829, married Sarah McCutcheon, had three sons and three 
daughters. 

John Clark Barkley, a prominent druggist and influential citizen 
of Oxford, is a son of Thomas Benton Barkley and Emma (Sutton) 
Barkley. He was born on a farm in Bath township, Franklin county, 
Ind., May 15, 1871, whither his father had removed from Pennsyl- 
vania two years prior to the birth of his son John. The paternal 
grandparents of John Clark Barkley were natives of Indiana county. 
Pa., and his paternal great-grandparents had settled in the same 
county years before after emigrating from county Antrim, Ireland. 
In his youth, John C. Barkley attended schools at Lebanon and Ox- 
ford. Upon leaving school, he entered the employ of S. T. Ramsey 
of College Corner, and in 1892 he left Ramsey and engaged in the 
drug business by himself, in the same place. The years of close 
application to work along pharmaceutical lines now stood him in 
excellent stead, and his success grew with the years. February 1, 
1919, he purchased the drug store of C. C. Neal, which he still op- 
erates in connection with his business at Oxford. During the same 
year of his opening his own drug store, he was married, March, 
1892, to Anna R. Ramsey, daughter of his former employer, S. R. 
Ramsey, and Mary A. (Wilson) Ramsey. S. R. Ramsey, a general 
merchant of College Corner, was a veteran of the civil war and is 
deceased, and his widow lives at College Corner. To them were 
born the following children : Bena R. Hamley, the wife of Dr. W. M. 
Hamley, of College Corner; Anna R. Barkley, wife of the subject of 
this sketch. After his marriage, John Clark Barkley lived in College 
Corner until June 1, 1919, when he moved to Oxford. For a number 
of years he was a member of the College Corner school board. The 
following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Clark Barkley : 
Harry Millikan Barkley ; Robert Sutton Barkley ; Harry Millikan 
was educated at Indiana university, at Bloomington, Ind., and at 
Miami university at Oxford. Soon after America declared war upon 
the Central Powers, he entered the officers' training school at Ft. 
Benjamin Harrison, near Indianapolis, and here won his commis- 
sion of second lieutenant. His commission of first lieutenant was 
awarded him later at Camp Meade, Maryland. Prior to his military 
experience, he had been engaged in the drug business with his father 
at College Corner, and with the Fuller Brush company of Connecti- 
cut as commercial traveler, in which he was very successful in both. 
He was married to Miss Betty Hutchins, of Cincinnati, Ohio, a 
student of Miami university, Oxford. Robert Sutton Barkley is a 
student in the Oxford High school, and is employed by his father 
in the latter's pharmacy. The Barkley family are members of the 
Presbyterian church. John Clark Barkley is a member of the Knights 
of Pythias, is an Odd Fellow, and is also a member of the Independ- 
ent order of Foresters. 

Thomas Benton Barkley, of Oxford, is typifying the true char- 
acter of the energetic, public-spirited, high-minded American. No 
citizen of the United States ever labored more faithfully for the 
ideals of his country than he. He was born in 1845, in Indiana coun- 
ty, Pa., a son of John and Anna (Clark) Barkley. His paternal grand- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 35 

parents, Alexander Barkley and Ann Barkley, came from their home 
in County Antrim, Ireland, to this country, years before, and settled 
in Indiana county, Pa., and were married there. Alexander Barkley 
was a weaver by trade, and it is said of him that he was a master in 
his calling. To him and his wife were born the following children : 
James, Alexander, Jane, and John, the father of the subject of this 
biography. In early life, John Barkley, Thomas Barkley's father, 
was a farmer in the county of his birth. Upon reaching manhood, 
he married his first wife, Elizabeth Rankin, of the same county, and 
to them were born the following children : Martha, married William 
Earhart; Mary Ann, married William Bracken; Alexander, mar- 
ried Elizabeth Colasier ; James, married Elizabeth Ray; Caroline, 
married John Lang; William, married Elizabeth Miller. Elizabeth 
Rankin Barkley, first wife of John Barkley, passed away some years 
after her marriage, and he married Anna Clark. The family re- 
mained in Pennsylvania, on the homestead in Indiana county. To 
the second union were born four children. Two reached maturity. 
They were : John, jr., and Thomas, the subject of this sketch. John 
jr., was anxious to become a merchant, and after finishing school 
became a coflfee merchant, first in Johnstown, Pa., and later of Balti- 
more, Md., and finally of Wheeling, W. Va. He married Adelaide 
Millikin, daughter of James Millikin, of Allegheny county, Pa. To 
him and his wife were born four children : Millikin, Harry, Anne 
and Bessie. Harry today is a real estate dealer of New York, and 
Millikin is a salesman in the same city. Anna was married to 
Thomas Lindsay of Baltimore ; and Bessie became the wife of 
Thomas Wright, of Newark, Ohio. Thomas Benton Barkley re- 
ceived his early education in the schools of Indiana county, Pa., and 
after leaving school, became a traveling salesman for Bush-Bunnat 
company, of Philadelphia. He continued successfully in this line of 
endeavor for a year, and at about this time, was married, in February, 
1865, to Emma J. Sutton, daughter of Sylvanus and Mary Sutton, 
of Indiana county. Pa. During the civil war, Thomas Barkley 
served under Colonel Porter, in the Pennsylvania 57th Regiment of 
Infantry. His brother John also served with the 11th Pennsylvania 
Reserves, and was taken prisoner by the Confederates in a seven- 
days' battle, and was sent to Libby prison. A half-brother, Alex- 
ander, also served in the war, and the three were held in high regard 
by their officers, being men of intrepid courage, great resource, and 
the type of men that are leaders among other men. After his mar- 
riage to Emma Sutton, Thomas Benton Barkley with his wife, re- 
mained on the Sutton farm, and in 1869 came to Franklin county, 
Ind., settling on a farm in Bath township. To this happy union were 
born the following children : Sylvanus, who was drowned at the age 
of eighteen years; John Clark, now a druggist of Oxford; Benton F., 
of Chicago ; Josephine, deceased ; and Mary. Mary Barkley was 
married to Riley I. Miller, of College Corner, and is the mother of 
two children : Harold W., and Thomas S. Benton F. Barkley re- 
sides in Chicago Heights, 111., and is married to Cora Weidner. They 
have one child, Frieda. John C. Barkley married Anna Ramsey, and 
is the father of two children, Harry M., and Robert S. Thomas 



36 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Barkley's first wife, the mother of the aforementioned children, died 
a number of years ago, and burial was made in the Oxford cemetery. 
Mr. Barkley was married later, in 1880, to Ida Pike, the daughter of 
Perley French Pike and Mary (Reed) Pike. Perley Pike was born 
near Boston, Mass., and his wife in Athens, Ohio. They lived in 
Athens county, Ohio, and were the parents of the following chil- 
dren : Sophronia Bullfinch, Azro, Manville T., Granville R., Charles 
Reed and Ida. Perley French Pike, their father, served in the War 
of 1812, and the family was identified in active service in the Revolu- 
tionary war. Perley Pike and his wife died at Athens, Ohio. One 
child was born to Thomas Barkley and Ida Pike Barkley : Ellis 
Blake Barkley, who married Ina M. Munns, daughter of James and 
Ida Munns of College Corner. To Ellis and Ina Barkley has been 
born one child, Ida Janice. Thomas Benton lived for forty years on 
his farm in Franklin county, Ind., and was also actively engaged in 
the mercantile business, in which he was well known and gained 
great success, at Bath station, on the C. & O. railway. In Franklin 
county, he was an ardent and active Democrat, and was elected state 
representative from Franklin and Union counties to the Indiana 
Assembly, serving at the sixty-fourth, sixty-fifth and sixty-sixth 
assemblies. Here he stood sponsor for any number of excellent 
laws, laboring for the ideals of his party, clinging steadfastly to his 
own highminded and upright principles. The laws failed in some in- 
stances only for the reason that his party was in the minority. Among 
the acts of legislature for which he labored and stood sponsor was a 
measure for revision of the "county commissioner law," calling for 
the individual voter's righ't to vote for the commissioner in his dis- 
trict alone. The bill for revision introduced the proposal to divide 
each county into three districts, and to elect a commissioner for each 
district. He also proposed a bill providing that the tax assessor take 
the school enumeration, thereby to eflfect a great saving. Mr. Bark- 
ley also served as chief doorkeeper during a session of the Indiana 
State Legislature. He is a faithful Presbyterian, doing much for 
his church. He was active in Masonic circles, and was also a loyal 
Odd Fellow. In the recent activities anent the World war, Thomas 
Benton Barkley was particularly active, helping in every way pos- 
sible, and keeping high the ideals of his patriot forbears, and adding 
to the record of loyal service already gained by him. It was in 1917 
that Thomas Benton Barkley came to Oxford, and here he pur- 
chased a residence at 15 S. Beech street, where he now resides. He 
is regarded by his fellow-citizens as a man whose good works and 
good name will ever flourish in the memory of whatever community 
in which he lives, and is heartily welcomed to Oxford. 

Fred Sull Barr. At the age of sixty years, Fred Sull Barr is 
practically retired from active afifairs, but still occupies the farm of 
296 acres in Madison township upon which a large part of his career 
has been spent. He was born at Dedham, Mass., August 9, 1859, a 
son of Henry H. and Frances (Fisher) Barr, and is descended from 
French stock, the name having originally been De Barr. His grand- 
father was Harry Barr, a native of France, who married an Irish 
girl and became an early emigrant to the United States, where he 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 11 

secured employment in the service of the United States Government. 
Locating in Northern Ohio, he passed his entire life there, and died 
near St. Mary's Ohio. Henry H. Barr had only a common school 
education in Northern Ohio, where he w^as born, and he and his 
brother Samuel became prominent and successful contractors of 
Cincinnati, where they owned a large lumber yard, as well as one in 
the south. In 1871 they came to Butler county, settling in the north- 
west corner of Madison township, where they took up 132 acres of 
land, and here Henry Barr died in 1915 at the age of seventy-nine 
years. He was a Republican in politics and fraternally was a charter 
member of a Cincinnati lodge of Odd Fellows, with which he was 
identified for half a century. Mr. Barr married Frances Fisher, who 
was born in Maine and died on the Madison township farm in 1882, 
aged forty-five years. She was a daughter of Albert and Orvilla 
(Gray) Fisher, of Maine, early settlers of Cincinnati, where Mr. 
Fisher was a railroad engineer, but in later life retured to Massa- 
chusetts, where he bought land and passed the closing years of his 
life. Mrs. Barr's brother, Albert, is a flour commissioner of New 
York City. Mr. and Mrs. Barr had seven children, as follows : 
Frances, deceased, who was the wife of George Kilbourn and later 
of Abe Cummings; Fred Sull, of this notice; Hattie, who married L. 
Webber, a farmer of Madison township ; Samuel, a retired farmer of 
Dayton ; George, a grocer for eighteen years, and now public safety 
inspector of Middletown ; May, who died at twenty-five years of 
age as the wife of Lee Webber; and Ella, who died in infancy. Fred 
Sull Barr attended the graded schools of Cincinnati and the high 
school at Middletown for one year, and for a short period followed 
teaching in the rural schools of Hamilton county. He next learned 
the moulders' trade, at Cincinnati, and after working in the Irving & 
Green foundry for a time, in that city, traveled extensively for three 
years. In 1885 he was married and shortly thereafter bought the old 
Barr place in Madison township, on which he lived and carried on 
operations for upwards of twenty years. Selling this property he 
bought a tract of 296 acres in section 4, Madison township, which he 
brought to a high state of development. He carried on a general 
farming business, raised all kinds of grain and tobacco, and bred 
Jersey cattle and Poland China hogs, which won him a number of 
blue ribbons and prizes at county fairs, where he was an annual ex- 
hibitor for some years. At present he leases his land. Mr. Barr is a 
Republican in politics. For many years he has staunchlv supported 
the cause of education, and his children have been given a chance 
to acquire practical training under the best possible country condi- 
tions. He was formerly for some years affiliated with the Masonic 
fraternity, and he and Mrs. Barr belong to the United Brethren 
church. September 15, 1885, Mr. Barr was married to Elizabeth 
Phillips, of Astoria, Ohio, daughter of Plummer Phillips, a black- 
smith by vocation. Mrs. Barr died in 1899, leaving five daughters : 
Elsie, who was a teacher for twelve years, and is now the wife^ of 
Charles Plessinger, of West Carrollton, Ohio, with one son, Robert : 
May, deceased, who was the wife of Ed Linville and had two chil- 
dren, William and Martha ; Myrtle, a teacher in the schools of 



38 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Middletown ; Mazie, a teacher of West Carrollton ; and Grace, a 
teacher of French in the high school at West Carrollton. February 
15, 1903, Mr. Barr was again married, being united with Elizabeth 
Thomas, of Trenton, Ohio, a daughter of John and Marion (Miller) 
Thomas, who were born near Trenton and were well known and 
highly respected farming people, and were the parents of six chil- 
dren. Mr. Thomas died at Seven Mile, Ohio, January 21, 1916, Mrs. 
Thomas having passed away in March, 1882. 

Carl Bartels. A record of thirty years of conscientious labor in 
the service of one concern has characterized the career of Carl Bar- 
tels, who, since his arrival at Hamilton in 1889, has been in the em- 
ploy of the Mosler Safe company. During this long period of time 
he has advanced steadily in position and in the confidence of his 
concern and for the past ten years has acted in the capacity of super- 
intendent, with full charge of the entire plant. Mr. Bartels was born 
April 14, 1863, in Germany. One of a family of ten children, he was 
given a public school education, supplemented by a high school edu- 
cation in his native land. His ambitions caused him to look beyond 
the narrow confines of his native community, where there seemed 
little in the future for him but to work hard without much chance 
of gaining independence from financial worries, and accordingly, at 
the age of twenty-four years, he gathered together his small earn- 
ings and made the trip to the United States. About two years later, 
in March, 1889, he came to Hamilton and secured a position at con- 
tracting on vault work for the Mosler Safe company, one of the 
oldest and best known concerns of its kind in the country. He was 
employed in this line for about ten years, when he was made fore- 
man of one of the departments, and several subsequent transfers 
made him thoroughly familiar with every department and detail of 
the business. His competence, reliability, industry and ability in 
handling men made him the logical choice for the superintendency 
when a vacancy occurred, and when he was given that post he was 
placed in entire charge of the plant. He has continued to occupy 
this important and responsible position to the present time and has 
proven himself one of the most valuable employees his company 
has ever had. Mr. Bartels was married in 1891 to Elizabeth, the 
daughter of Philip Renter, of Minersville, Ohio, she being one of a 
family of twelve children. They now reside in their comfortable 
home, built by Mr. Bartels at No. 906 Central avenue. Four sons 
have been born to them : Carl P., born in 1892, a graduate of the 
graded schools, and now a department foreman in the employ of the 
Mosler Safe company, married Ellen Crittenden and has one son, 
and is a resident of Hamilton and a member of the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks ; Leo F., born in 1896, a graduate of the 
graded and high schools, who studied business administration in the 
Illinois State university at Champaign, and left that institution at 
the outbreak of the war to work in the gun carriage division of the 
Ordnance Department, at the Mosler Safe company, but is now 
president of the Leabarjan Manufacturing company of Hamilton, 
single and an Elk, and makes his home with his parents ; Edwin J., 
born in 1900, who is attending high school ; and Elmer, born in 



RUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 39 

1902, also a high school student. The father of these sons is a mem- 
ber of the Elks, in which he has numerous friends, as he has also in 
business circles. 

Charles E. Bauer. A number of the agriculturists of Butler 
county, and particularly the younger element, are engaged in op- 
erating the properties upon which they were born and which they 
have obtained from their fathers either through purchase or inheri- 
tance. This, however, has not been the case with Charles E. Bauer, 
who, while he is now the proprietor of the farm of his birth, has had 
somewhat extensive experience on other properties, both in Butler 
and Preble counties. Mr. Bauer was born in Milford township. 
Butler county, Ohio, May 19, 1889, a son of George Bauer, also a 
native of this township. The first of the family to come to the 
United States was Conrad Bauer, grandfather of Charles E., who 
emigrated from Germany and became an early settler of Milford 
township, where he passed the balance of his life in agricultural pur- 
suits. George Bauer grew up in his native township, where he at- 
tended the district schools, and on reaching manhood married Adda, 
daughter of Daniel and Julia Young, farming people of Preble coun- 
ty. Mrs. Bauer had two brothers, Lewis and Edgar, both of whom 
are now deceased. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bauer located 
on the old Young farm in Milford township now occupied by their 
son Charles E., and here the father died May 16, 1894, while the 
mother passed away in February, 1915, aged fifty-two years. Mrs. 
Bauer was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and she 
and her husband were the parents of three children: Mae L., who 
married Daniel L. Unsicker, a farmer of Milford township, and has 
two children, Helen and Fred ; Charles E. ; and Ethel, who married 
Arthur Somers, of Jonesboro, Ind., and has four children. Elmo, 
Lincoln, Virgil and Velma Louise. To the district schools of Mil- 
ford township, Charles E. Bauer is indebted for his educational 
training. He remained at home and assisted his father and later his 
widowed mother until his marriage, May 24, 1911, to Helen, daugh- 
ter of Martin and Catherine Farrell, of Monroe, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. 
Farrell were natives of Ireland, who, upon their emigration to the 
United States, first settled at Middletown, Ohio, where Mr. Farrell 
became the proprietor of a meat market. Later they moved to Mon- 
roe, where they still make their home. They are the parents of 
four children : James, of Tiro, Ohio ; Edward, who resides with his 
parents ; Florence, a resident of Cincinnati ; and Mrs. Bauer. After 
his marriage, Mr. Bauer resided in Milford township and followed 
farming for two years, but later went to Preble county for a time 
and subsequently moved' to Somerville. Finally, in January, 1919, 
he returned to the old home place, where he has since been success- 
fully engaged in general farming, and in raising cattle, hogs, sheep 
and horses. He has a well-cultivated and valuable property, and is 
considered one of the leading young agriculturists of his township. 
and votes the Democratic ticket. Mrs. Bauer is a member of the 
Catholic church at Oxford, and she and her husband are among the 
most popular young people in their locality. 

John T. Bausch, M. D., is engaged in the successful practice of 



40 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

his profession at Venice, Butler county, with the village of Ross as 
his postoffice address. His practice is largely of rural order and his 
visitations extend over a wide area of the fine farming country tribu- 
tary to the village in which he resides. Dr. Bausch claims the Buck- 
eye state as the place of his nativity. He was born in the city of 
Cincinnati, and is a son of John A. and Sophia (Armstrong) Bausch, 
both of whom were born in Cincinnati. John A. Bausch was reared 
and educated in his native city, where his marriage was solemnized, 
and there he was for half a century actively associated with the 
Queen City Varnish company, of which he was manager for many 
years prior to his death. His widow there continued her residence 
until she too passed away, her death having occurred in 1909. Both 
were zealous members of the Presbyterian church, and of their four 
children three are living. Of the children the eldest was Harry, 
who was graduated in the law school of the Y. M. C. A., at Cin- 
cinnati, as a member of the class of 1901, and who met a tragic death, 
in a street-car accident, in the same year, he having been at the time 
assistant city solicitor of Cincinnati ; Dr. John T., of this review, is 
the next younger; and Olive, who received excellent educational 
advantages in her home city, has for the past several years been a 
successful and popular teacher in the public schools ; Walter, young- 
est of the children, completed his education by a two-years' course 
in the University of Ohio, and for three years he was engaged in 
teaching in the public schools. Dr. John T. Bausch continued his 
studies in the public schools of Cincinnati until he had completed 
the curriculum of the high school, after which he entered the Miami 
Medical university, in Cincinnati, where he continued his technical 
studies from 1903 until 1907, in which latter year he was duly grad- 
uated, with degree of M. D. For two years thereafter he was en- 
gaged in hospital service at Sandusky, Ohio, where he gained val- 
uable clinical experience, and for the ensuing two years he was 
established in practice in his native city. He then removed to Venice, 
Butler county, where he has since continued his professional labors 
and built up a substantial practice. He is one of the valued mem- 
bers of the Butler County Medical society and is identified also with 
the Ohio State Medical society. He is affiliated with the Masonic 
fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he 
and his wife are active members of the Presbyterian church at Venice. 
In the autumn of 1909 Dr. Bausch was married to Sylvia Blair, of 
Price Hill, Ohio, she being a daughter of Herman and Amanda 
Blair, the former a native of the state of New York and the latter of 
the city of Cincinnati, where Mr. Blair was for many years superin- 
tendent of a leading distillery, both he and his wife being now de-, 
ceased. Of their four children the first born, Albert, is deceased; 
Mrs. Bausch was the next in order of birth; Helen is the wife of 
Walter Schradin, of Venice, Butler county ; and Leo is a photog- 
rapher in the city of Chicago. Dr. and Mrs. Bausch have two chil- 
dren, Robert Blair and Sylvia Olive. 

John Calvin Beach. Among the farmers of moral and material 
worth whose labors have largely helped to develop the agricultural 
interests of Madison township county, is John Calvin Beach. Mr. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 41 

Beach is not of that type who has had fortune and property thrust 
upon him by inheritance and, perhaps, increased it by careful man- 
agement. His large competence, his valuable properties in Madison 
township and his high and substantial standing as a citizen, have 
been acquired by individual force of character, by industry, persever- 
ance and intelligent efifort, founded upon the strictest honor. He 
was born June 22, 1865, in Madison township, Butler county, O., a 
son of Robert K. and Eleanor (Weidner) Beach, the former a native 
of near Amanda, this state, and the latter of Madison township. 
The grandfather of Mr. Beach was John Beach, born in the East, 
who came to Butler county as a pioneer, as did also John Weidner, 
the maternal grandfather. Robert K. Beach grew up near Amanda. 
O., where the home schools furnished him with his education, and 
where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits throughout a long 
and useful career. He was a staunch Democrat in politics, and a 
member of the United Brethren church, in the faith of which he died 
in 1910, at the age of seventy-one years. His widow survived him 
until 1916, and was seventy-three years old at the time of her demise. 
They were the parents of five children, all of whom are deceased 
with the exception of John Calvin. The educational advantages of 
John Calvin Beach were the same as those of other farmers' sons 
of his day and locality, being confined to attendance at the district 
schools. His boyhood was divided between the winter terms of 
school and the long summers of work on the home farm, and thus he 
was brought up to sturdy and self-reliant young manhood, trained 
alike in body and mind for the exacting tasks which life was to ask 
him to perform. December 27, 1888, he was married toMiss Mary 
Florence Yost, of Preble county, O., born near Eaton, a daughter of 
Harvey and Sarah Jane (Manchester) Yost, the former a native of 
Preble county, and the latter of Michigan. After their marriage 
Mr. and Mrs. Yost settled near Eaton, where Mrs. Yost died in 1875, 
at the age of thirty years, her husband then marrying Elizabeth 
Baer, of Preble county. Mr. Yost died at the home of his son-in-law, 
Mr. Beach, when sixty-eight years of age. He was the father of five 
children all by his first wife : Durbin, a resident of Alberta, Canada ; 
Charles, of Middletown, Ohio ; Mary Florence, now Mrs. Beach ; 
Medford, of Lockland, Ohio ; and Ida, the wife of Ernest Linden, of 
Hamilton, this state. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Beach : Wilbur Evans and Durbin Ellsworth. Wilber Evans Beach 
was born January 7, 1890, and after attending the public schools of 
Madison township and the high school at Middletown, took a two- 
year medical course at Cincinnati and spent two years in medical 
schools at Cleveland and after his graduation, began the prac- 
tice of his profession at Gratis, Ohio, and later moved to Somer- 
ville, and continued in practice there until joining the United States 
Army Medical Corps at Fort Riley, from which he was assigned to 
Camp Harry J. Johns, Douglas, Ariz. He married Bessie Thomp- 
son, of Brown county, Ohio, a daughter of Felix and Sarah (Simkins) 
Thompson, of that county, the latter of whom died in 1907. while 
the former is a prominent jeweler. Doctor and Mrs. Beach have two 
children : Viola Florence and Sarah Gertrude, who, with their 



42 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

mother, made their home temporarily with Doctor Beach's parents 
while the Doctor was located at the above camps, but later joined 
him at Naco, Ariz., where he is now still in the service of the U. S. 
The latter, in addition to the various organizations of his profession, 
belongs to the K. of P., at Somerville, the Order of Odd Fellov/s, 
the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, and the United 
Brethren church. Durbin Ellsworth Beach was born August 30, 
1893, and was educated in the public schools, being unable to pursue 
his studies further because of poor eyesight. He is now his father's 
assistant in operating the home farm. He married Maude Schooly, 
of Middletown, daughter of Hezekiah and Laura Schooly. Follow- 
ing their marriage, John Calvin Beach and his wife rented land for 
two years, and then bought the Weidner farm of sixty-seven acres, 
located in Madison township. Mr. Beach has since added to his 
holdings, and now has 102 acres, all in a good state of cultivation, and 
with modern improvements, all of which have been made by Mr. 
Beach. In addition, he also erected and installed all the improve- 
ments on the farm occupied by his son. Mr. Beach carries on general 
farming in a modern way, along the most highly approved scientific 
lines, and also raises mixed stock, and in each department has shown 
himself thoroughly qualified for his work and with a splendid knowl- 
edge of the details of agriculture. As a side line, he handles Buck- 
eye State Mutual Fire insurance, of Covington, O., as well as busi- 
ness for the Ohio Mutual Tornado Insurance company. In political 
matters, he is independent, and prefers to choose his own candi- 
dates rather than to be guided by party mandates. He is a member 
of the United Brethren church and has been active in church work, 
and at present is serving as steward and a member of the board of 
trustees. Starting as a simple renter of land about thirty years ago, 
he has advanced steadily to the ownership of a handsome property. 
Notwithstanding this noteworthy success, he has the modesty 
and the fairness, prompted by gratitude and affection, to attribute 
much of his good fortune to the inspiring love and unselfish assist- 
ance of his wife. Into their home and hearts Mr. and Mrs. Beach 
took Beulah Beach, a cousin of Mr. Beach, who married Osle Zellors, 
of Dayton. She died in 1909, leaving two children : Mildred Ardel- 
la, who makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Beach ; and Ermal, who 
was adopted by Walter Cass of Madison township. 

James E. Beard (deceased) was born in Morgan township, But- 
ler county, January 26, 1868, a son of Alfred Beard, a native Ohioan, 
born at Scipio. James attended school in Morgan township, and 
upon reaching manhood, married Guerel Cochran. She was born at 
Millville, and was a daughter of William and Susan Cochran. Her 
father is dead, and her mother resides at Millville. After their mar- 
riage, Mr. James Beard and his wife lived on the farm originally 
cleared and settled by Mr. Beard's grandfather. This is a farm of 
204 acres, of fine soil, and beautiful appearance. Here Mr. Beard 
carried on farming successfully, and raised some very fine livestock. 
To him and his wife were born three children : Marcus W. Beard, 
born November 2, 1892 ; Susie Bell, born May 16, 1895 ; Gladys V., 
born August 31, 1898. Marcus W. Beard received his education in 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 43 

the schools of Morgan township and has always resided on the 
Beard homestead. On October 16, 1918, he was married to Rebecca 
B. Dick, daughter of Isaac and Martha (Gillespie) Dick. Mrs. 
Beard's parents are natives of Butler county. Mr. Dick is a farmer 
of Ross township. Mrs. Beard is their only child, and attended 
school at Western college, Oxford, Ohio. Marcus W. Beard is one 
of the successful farmers of this section, maintaining a splendid, mod- 
em farm, upon which he raises a large number of fine hogs each year. 
In politics he follows his father, and is a Democrat. Mr. and Mrs. 
Beard are members of the Presbyterian church of Millville, and are 
prominent citizens of their township. 

John E. Beard. Among the agriculturists of Ohio who has 
won a most enviable distinction because of the fact that he is 
truly representative of the enterprising tillers of the soil is Mr. 
John E. Beard of Oxford township, Butler county, and the suc- 
cess that he has had in operating his own farm has been in keep- 
ing with the conscientious labor entailed in developing the land to 
the highest point of productivity. Born in Springfield township, 
Franklin county, Ind., he is the son of William S. and Martha E. 
(Waldorf) Beard. He was educated at the Bartlow district school 
and Reiley High school. He engaged in the carriage business at 
Second and Market streets in Hamilton, Ohio, after leaving school 
and also gave some attention to live stock and the livery business. 
In these ventures he met with success and added considerable to his 
reputation as a man of keen business judgment who was always 
alive to the best interests of customers. Inherently he was fond of 
farm life, and accordingly, took up his abode on his present farm 
about six years ago and from the outset was welcomed as a most 
desirable neighbor by the other farmers in his section. This land, 
which is owned by his father, William S. Beard, unquestionably is 
one of the most productive tracts of its area in Butler county. The 
good fortune which has attended the efforts of Mr. Beard in operat- 
ing this farm has been even beyond his most sanguine hopes and 
there is every reason to believe that the future will show more en- 
couraging results than the past. The parents of Mr. Beard are both 
living in Springfield township, and had two sons, John and Francis ; 
the latter died in infancy. The father is a substantial landowner 
and also manifests an active interest in matters agricultural. John 
married Nettie, daughter of Frank and Anna (Wilkinson) Hazel- 
tine, of Hamilton county. He has one son. Franklin S., who is ten 
years old. Like so many other progressive farmers of Butler county, 
he took an active interest in the various World war activities and 
gave his time unsparingly to all movements which placed Butler 
county in the fore in the matter of results achieved. His loyalty to 
the cause of Uncle Sam and the allies was such that he was looked 
upon as one of the most desirable workers to be had in furthering 
Liberty Loan campaigns and arousing enthusiasm among the other 
farmers of the community. He has membership in the Elks and 
Moose and socially is popular. 

Daniel P. Beaton. Foremost among the qualities which have 
made the life of Daniel P. Beaton of practical use to his fellow men 



44 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

are courage and faithfulness, evidenced in many ways, and noticeable 
in his military service during the Civil war. In the city of Oxford, 
where he is a highly esteemed citizen, indebtedness is felt for his 
excellent management of the postoffice department from 1865 to 
1888, for his splendid administration of the city's affairs in the ofifice 
of mayor for twelve years, and for his conscientious and capable 
services rendered in his present position of city clerk. Mr. Beaton 
was born at No. 19 Beech street, Oxford, Ohio, September 16, 1843, 
a son of Alexander and Mary (McMillan) Beaton, natives of Glas- 
gow, Scotland, who were there educated, reared and married. In 
his native land, Alexander Beaton followed the trade of tailor with 
only indifferent success, and eventually decided to try his fortune in 
the United States. Accordingly, in 1838, he embarked with his fam- 
ily for this country and after a trip of eight weeks arrived at his des- 
tination, Pittsburg, Pa. A short time later he removed by boat to 
Cincinnati and then came on to Oxford, where he opened a tailor 
shop. During the rush of the gold-seekers to California in 1849, 
he started for that state, going to New York and there boarding a 
vessel for Panama. Sickness soon broke out on board and Mr. Bea- 
ton was one of the twenty passengers who died. The mother man- 
aged to keep her family together, and lived until 1896, being eighty 
years of age at the time of her death and passing away in the faith 
of the United Presbyterian church, of which she had been a life- 
long member. Of the children born to these parents, Isabelle is the 
widow of W. S. Crawford and resides at Redlands, Calif. ; Daniel P. 
is the city clerk of Oxford ; Mary died as the wife of W. P. McMil- 
len ; William M. was a merchant of Oxford for thirty-two years and 
died January 13, 1919, at the home of Daniel P., his brother, with 
whom he had lived ; and Elizabeth married William A. Charles of 
San Pedro, Calif. After attending the home schools, Daniel .P. 
Beaton was a student at Miami university during 1859 and 1860, and 
then took up the carpenter trade to which he applied himself for one 
year. At this time the Civil war came on to interrupt his career, as 
it did those of so many other young men and youths, and March 16, 
1862, he enlisted in Company A, 86th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry, with which organization he was sent to West Virginia. 
At that time he belonged to the 100-day men, and at the end of his 
term of service, when he was honorably discharged, he enlisted 
again as a veteran, in October, 1862, and served until wounded June 
9, 1863, when he was shot through the right ankle joint, necessitating 
the amputation of his foot. For six months he lay in Somerset hos- 
pital, Kentucky, but by March, 1864, was able to make his way home, 
and in June, 1865, was chosen postmaster of Oxford, a position which 
he retained and filled with the utmost ability until March 8, 1888. 
Subsequently, he was elected mayor of Oxford, an ofifice in which he 
was able to secure many benefits for his native city during the 
twelve years of his administration, and later he acted in the ca- 
pacity of express agent until elected to his present office of city clerk. 
Throughout the period of his public service his record has been one 
of unswerving integrity, and conscientious performance of every 
duty, in which he has won and held the unqualified confidence of his 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 45 

fellow-citizens. Mr. Beaton has always been a staunch Republican, 
but his public record and his personal qualities have served to win 
him friends among men of all parties and beliefs. He was married 
September 13, 1866, to Harriet Miller, of Oxford township, a daugh- 
ter of Daniel and Johanna (Rail) Miller, who were born near Ham- 
ilton where Mr. Miller carried on agricultural operations. They 
were members of the Lutheran church, in the faith of which Mrs. 
Miller died in 1874 and her husband one year before. Of their thir- 
teen children, four survive : Mary, who married John Burke, of 
Mead, Wash. ; Harriet, who became Mrs. Beaton ; Samantha, the 
widow of John Faber, living with Mr. and Mrs. Beaton ; and Frank 
J., a farmer of Sedalia, Kans. Five children have been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Beaton: William M., engineer at the waterworks at Ox- 
ford for the past twenty-two years, who married Anna Farris and 
has five children — Monroe and Marie (twins), Daniel B., James, 
Harry and Harriet; Isabelle, who married Raymond Sheard, of 
Hamilton, and has one child — Mary E. ; Mary, who died unmarried 
at the age of twenty years ; Elizabeth, the first girl to graduate from 
Miami university, in 1900, who was a teacher in the public schools 
until her marriage to Dr. H. M. Moore, a practicing physician of 
Oxford ; and Daniel Scott, formerly a draughtsman for the Mosler 
Safe company, now foreman of a safe works at Gait, Ontario, who 
married Lucile Schram. Mr. Beaton is an interested, valued and 
popular comrade of Milliken Post No. 128, G. A. R., at Oxford, and 
he and the members of his family belong to the United Presbyterian 
church. 

James Beatty, deceased, came to America from Ireland at the 
age of twelve years. In early life he was a lover of horses and his 
first position after his arrival in this country, was that of "jockey" ; 
later on and prior to the abolishment of slavery, he became superin- 
tendent of the slaves on plantations in Delaware, Maryland and 
other states. In Maryland, he met and married Emily Craig, of 
Cecil county, and then moved to Butler county, Ohio, and engaged 
in the contracting business. Many if not all the turnpike roads in 
this vicinity at that time were constructed by him. Later, he se- 
cured a contract for the construction of the Miami and Erie canal 
through this section, subsequently equipping and operating a line of 
boats plying between Cincinnati and Toledo, the only means af- 
forded at that time for the transportation of products. In connec- 
tion with this, he operated warehouses located along the canal route 
for facilitating shipping. He cleared a large acreage of land in Fair- 
field and Union townships and vicinity, in which work he had at one 
time more than one hundred woodchoppers engaged. With others, 
he organized the First National bank of Hamilton, Ohio, and for 
many years served as vice-president and director, during which time 
he afso began to improve and develop the farm land he had pur- 
chased and cleared. When thirty-six years of age he suffered a para- 
lytic stroke and also met disastrous financial reverses, involving his 
entire fortune and depleting his resources. About this time, with 
Archibald Trowbridge, he entered the pork-packing business in Cin- 
cinnati, under the company name, "The Beatty-Trowbridge com- 



46 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

pany." This was one of the largest establishments of its kind at 
that time, and during the Civil war the concern did a large and pros- 
perous business. This venture was developed entirely by Mr. Beatty 
after he became paralyzed. Trips to and from Cincinnati and his 
home, were made by Mr. Beatty in his buggy, and business transac- 
tions with members of the Board of Trade and Exchange were con- 
ducted from his seat in the vehicle. To Mr. Beatty and wife were 
born seven children : Mary Ann, Mrs. Freeman Thompson, had 
seven children; Alexander, married Mary Mulholland, died from ill- 
ness contracted while a soldier of the Civil war; Eliza; James, 
married Frances Petry, had three daughters ; William, married 
Blanch Wasson, have three daughters ; Margaret, married Ayres L. 
Bramble, son of A. L. Bramble, pork packer, of Madisonville, Ohio. 
After the marriage of Ayres L. Bramble and Margaret Beatty, they 
made their home on a part of the Beatty farm, apportioned to Mrs. 
Bramble by her father, James Beatty, and they are still living on this 
place. Mr. Bramble had been operating a large abattoir at Plains- 
ville, Ohio, but since his marriage he has given his attention to the 
farming interests of himself and his wife, and together they now 
hold 1,000 acres, all under the management of Mr. Bramble. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Bramble have been bom seven children : Alice, died in in- 
fancy; Ayres B., who married Bertha Smith, of Middletown, Ohio, 
is superintendent of construction at the American Rolling mill ; has 
300 employees. He was educated at Danville, (Ky.) Military school, 
also Technical school ; has two children, Agnes Smith and Edna 
Jean ; Edna May, a graduate at Bartholomew's English Classical 
school, married James Lovett, farmer ; Edwin B., died when twenty- 
two years of age ; Geneva, a graduate of St. Joseph's academy, mar- 
ried Campbell Cissel, superintendent of the Occident Baking com- 
pany ; Alfred S., who attended the Ohio State university, married 
Grace Gerard, has a daughter, Dorothy; Eva, a graduate of St. 
Joseph's academy, married Myron Johnson, has a son, Myron G., jr. 
James J. Beatty. The occupation of farming has always claimed 
the attention of James J. Beatty, who is now an extensive raiser of 
general produce and tobacco on the Yankee road, near Middletown. 
This progressive Butler county farmer belongs to the class of men 
who make a study of their vocations, and who treat them more as 
professions than as mere money-making occupations, and for this 
reason is the occupant of an influential position in his community. 
Also, he has interested himself in local affairs, which gives him an 
added hold upon the confidence of his fellow-citizens. Mr. Beatty 
was born on a farm in Preble county, Ohio. January 5, 1865, a son 
of John and Elizabeth (Flenner) Beatty. While his maternal grand- 
mother was a native of Ohio, Andrew Flenner, his maternal grand- 
father, was born in Pennsylvania and came to the Buckeye state 
when a young man. John Beatty was born in Butler county, and 
passed his entire life in agricultural pursuits. As a man of industry 
he made a success of his ventures, while his integrity gave him high 
standing in the confidence of his fellow-men and his good citizenship 
ensured his position as a valuable member of his community. His 
wife was born at Four Mile, Butler county, and was a woman of 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 47 

many excellencies of mind and heart and a great help to him in the 
attainment of his success. James J. Beatty was reared under excel- 
lent home influences, on the farm, and was early taught the lessons 
of industry and honesty. As he grew up he attended the district 
school and the Overpeck school, and had no other thought than to 
become a farmer when he entered upon his lifework. With this end 
in view he familiarized himself with all matters pertaining to the 
successful management of a modern property, being aided therein 
by the kind and accurate counsel of his father, so that when he was 
ready to take up his independent career he had already mastered 
the rudiments of his chosen calling and was prepared to put them 
into practical demonstration. The results which he has been able 
to attain from his labors have fully justified all the preparation he 
put into perfecting himself, for he is now accounted one of the 
progressive agriculturists of his locality whose success has increased 
each season with the passing of the years. He is likewise widely 
known for his untiring and industrious spirit, for his strict integrity 
in all matters pertaining to the transactions of business life and for 
his hospitality in his home circle. Mr. Beatty was married March 
6, 1899, to Miss Minnie Kieser, daughter of Charles P. and Frances 
(Mierch) Kieser, who came from Germany in 1855. On their ar- 
rival in the United States the parents of Mrs. Kieser went at once to 
Cincinnati, and then removed to Hamilton. At the latter place Mr. 
Kieser secured a position with Long & Alstatter, and by 1860 had 
arisen to the post of foreman. He worked for this concern for fifty- 
two years and was considered one of the company's most trusted 
employees. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beatty: 
Ellsworth, who is assisting his father in the work of the home place 
and who married Miss Laura Slonecker, of Dayton ; they have one 
son, Robert; and Lovena, now Mrs. Samuel Brandenburg, who re- 
sides near West Elkton. Mr. Beatty's interest in public affairs in 
his community has been expressed in a number of practical and con- 
structive ways, and his friendship for education is exemplified in the 
excellent services he has rendered for over twelve years as a member 
of the school board. 

William Beaver. The monotony which often ensues from the 
continuous following of a certain line of work has never been a 
feature in the career of William Beaver, of Trenton. Gifted with 
talents of a versatile nature, this well-known and highly esteemed 
resident of Trenton has, at different times, followed the vocation of 
farmer, baker, mechanic and hotelkeeper, and at the present time is 
successfullly acting as a traveling salesman. Mr. Beaver also has 
the distinction of belonging to one of the pioneer families of the 
Miami valley. His grandfather, a native of Pennsylvania, was but 
seventeen years of age when he and another youth of like years 
walked from their home in the Keystone state and located in Mont- 
gomery county, Ohio, south of Dayton, and for a number of years 
thereafter this pioneer followed the trade of carpenter. He died in 
middle life when his son John B. was but a lad. The grandfather 
married Mary Gephart, and they had five children : Jacob, deceased ; 
John B.; David; George, deceased; and Barbara Ann, deceased. 



48 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

John B. Beaver, the father of William, was born in Montgomery 
county, Ohio, December 17, 1842, and received his education in the 
common schools. He grew up as a farmer and adopted that voca- 
tion as his life work, following it until 1900, when he retired from 
active pursuits and since that time has been making his home with 
his son William. He was married in 1872 to Mary J. Gephart, who 
was born near Branch, Ohio, a daughter of William and Catherine 
Gephart, both deceased, the former of whom was a blacksmith at 
Fishburg, Ohio, for many years. Two sons were born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Beaver: William, of this review; and Frank P., who is pro- 
prietor of the Strand Hotel at Dayton, although his home is located 
at Miamisburg. Frank P. Beaver married Clara Rath, and they 
have had six children : Hazel ; Ruby, deceased ; Ernest, Mildred, 
Lawrence and Paul. William Beaver was born on a farm near 
Miamisburg, Montgomery county, Ohio, May 23, 1874, and spent 
his boyhood and youth much the same as other sons of farmers, 
attending school during the school terms and assisting his father in 
the work of the home place. When he completed his studies he 
learned the trade of baker, at Middletown, where he purchased the 
shop and conducted it for about two years. Selling out, he went to 
Illinois, where he was employed by the Western Wheel works, but 
returned eventually to Middletown and for a time was engaged in 
various forms of employment. In 1900 he bought a hotel in Trenton 
and took up his residence in this city, but in 1911. sold out in ordet 
to give all of his attention to his new vocation of traveling salesman 
Among other activities in which Mr. Beaver has been engaged, he 
was for eleven years proprietor of a cigar factory. He is widely and 
favorably known, as are also the members of his family, and all are 
held in the warmest regard and friendship by those with whom they 
have come in contact. March 27, 1897, Mr. Beaver was united in 
marriage with Pearl Ingham, of Farmersville, Ohio, a daughter of 
Frank and Ellen (Taylor) Ingham. Mr. Ingham, who was a farmer, 
died in 1909, since which time his widow has made her home with Mr. 
and Mrs. Beaver. There are three children in the Beaver family : 
Jessie Irene, wife of James W. Quigley, general superintendent of 
the twelve great plants of the Patent Vulcanite Roofing company, 
of Chicago, one of the largest concerns in the world ; Mr. and Mrs. 
Quigley have one son, James Watson, jr., born December 9, 1918; 
and Clarence C. and Robert, who reside with their parents and are 
attending high school. Mr. Beaver is a member of the Fraternal 
Order of Eagles and the Improved Order of Red Men, and is a 
Democrat in his political faith. Both he and Mrs. Beaver are faith- 
ful members of the St. John's Evangelical church of Trenton, and 
have been generous in their support of religious, charitable and 
educational movements. 

Clifford C. Becker. Among the well-known farmers of St. Clair 
township, Butler county, whose industry, energy and good manage- 
ment have placed them in comfortable circumstances and gained for 
them a reputable standing among their fellow-townsmen, is Clifford 
C. Becker, who is carrying on his vocation on what is known as the 
old Flickinger place. The Becker family has been identified with 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 49 

Butler county since 1856, in which year it was founded here by John 
Peter Becker, the grandfather of Clifford C. He was born in Hesse- 
Darmstadt, Germany, November 6, 1828, and by his first marriage 
had two children, one of whom is William Becker, a resident of 
California. For his second wife he married, in 1856, Mrs. Henrietta 
Arnbold Miller, widow of William Miller, and they had three chil- 
dren : Henrietta, who died single, born September 6, 1858; Matilda, 
born July 11, 1863, the widow of John Kurzega of Cincinnati, with 
three children — Alma, Ella and Otto; and John R., the father of 
Clififord C. Shortly after his second marriage, in 1856, John Peter 
Becker emigrated to the United States and started work at the 
wagon making trade in Fairfield township, Butler county. He also 
occupied himself at the blacksmith's trade, and had an interest in a 
canal-boat venture, but in 1863 turned his attention to agricultural 
pursuits on the William B. Smalley farm, and in 1865 bought 165 
acres of land, to which he subsequently added by purchase until he 
had 240 acres. He was sixty-nine years of age at the time of his 
death in 1896, and one of the highly respected men of the community, 
and a faithful member of the German Lutheran church. His widow 
survived him until some years later and was eighty-one years old at 
the time of her demise, at Cincinnati. John R. Becker, father of 
Clifford C, was born August 6, 1865, on the Middletown pike in 
Butler county and was educated in the common schools. As a 
youth he learned the machinist's trade, at which he was employed 
both in his own community, on Staten Island and in Pennsylvania. 
February 26, 1896, he married Amelia Rapp, of Cincinnati, Ohio, 
daughter of Christian and Ida (Huelsen) Rapp, the former of whom 
was born at Birbach, Germany, in 1838, and the latter in Riesen- 
burgh, Prussia. They met and were married at Cincinnati, where 
Mr. Rapp was in the retail liquor business until his death in 1891, 
and his widow now makes her home with her children. They 
belonged to the Lutheran church and had six children : Bertha, 
who lives at Cincinnati ; Fred, connected with the Chamber of 
Commerce at Connersville, Ind. ; Amelia, who became Mrs. Becker : 
George, a coal dealer of Cincinnati ; Ida, the wife of Robert Hilt- 
brand, a Butler county farmer ; and Emma, who married John L.' 
Becker, a tinsmith of Hamilton. At the time of his marriage, Jchn. 
R. Becker located on the present family home in St. Clair town^lpr,' 
known as the old Flickinger place, and here died September .i, 
1915. He was an independent voter and a member of the KHigh-ts 
of Pythias lodge, No. 459, at Seven Mile, which he joined 'at/ihe 
time of its organization as a charter member. He was a man of 
high character and marked integrity and well merited therespei.Qi;- 
and confidence in which he was universally held. The only child/ 
of his parents, Clifford C. Becker was born November 30. 1896, and' 
received his education in the home schools at Seven Mile. He-has 
always lived on the home place and followed farming,.'althoiigh his 
natural mechanical ability, doubtless inherited from his tathef and 
grandfather, has led him to pay some attention to this line,. and for 
several years he has operated a threshing outfit. Although, still a 
young man, he has made marked progress, and has shown splendid 



50 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

ability in carrying on general farming and stock raising operations 
on the home place, which is a splendidly improved tract of 184 
acres. He is well known in his party, and his popularity is evidenced 
by his host of friends. Mr. Becker was married April 9, 1919, to 
Sallie Walker, of Harrison, Ohio, daughter of J. P. and Nancy 
Walker, retired agricultural people of Hamilton. 

Charles L. Beckett. Butler county has many fine farms, and 
they are owned to a large extent by members of old families of the 
Miami valley. In Hanover township, a part of the old Beckett farm 
is owned by Charles L. Beckett, one of the enterprising and well- 
to-do agriculturists of this locality. Mr. Beckett has been the 
architect of his own fortunes, and has earned his present possessions 
through honest effort, ordinary prudence and the exercise of natural 
good judgment. He was born on the homestead place in Hanover 
township, and is the only son of John C. and Sarah L. (Brosier) 
Beckett. Educated in the local schools, when he laid aside his 
studies he began working for his father, but after his marriage, in 
1893, began farming on his own account on his present property, a 
farm of ninety-one acres, which he purchased from his parents. 
Here he has been successful in his operations as a farmer and 
raiser of live stock, and has taken much pride in his surroundings, 
his buildings of all kinds being attractive and substantial. A 
friend of the public schools, he has served efficiently in the capacity 
of member of the board of education, and his good citizenship was 
also shown when he acted as captain in war drives. With his 
family, he belongs to the Methodist church. Mr. Beckett was 
married in 1893 to Mamie A., daughter of Robert and Martha E. 
(Watt) Harris, farming people of Milford township, Butler county, 
Mr. Harris being a Union veteran of the Civil war. Mrs. Beckett 
has one brother, Alva, who is engaged in farming in Hanover 
township. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beckett : 
Nellie E., formerly a student at Miami university, who is now 
engaged in teaching school and is becoming very popular as an 
educator; Orveda, who attended school at Miami university, and is 
now the wife of Joseph W. Fichter, principal of Hanover township 
centralized school, with one child, Jean Marie; Marguerite, who is 
. the wife of Charles Shafer, engaged in farming in Hanover town- 
-shjp, with one daughter, Sarah Jane ; and John, "who is assisting 
■ his father in the cultivation of the home farm. The children have 
been carefully reared and well educated, and have gone to fill 
stations in life in which they are reflecting credit upon their parents 
.and their community. 

The Beckett Paper Company. In order to present the facts 
regarding the inception of the Beckett Paper company, it is neces- 
sary to delve nearly three-quarters of a century into the business 
history of Hamilton. In the year 1848, one Reilly, from the east, 
came tc Hamilton and secured a site at the corner of Buckeye and 
Lowell streets, where he commenced the construction of a paper 
mill.' With him. Reilly brought two millwrights, John L. and 
Frahlc Martin, and a Scotch paper maker, Adam Laurie. The two 
Martins had charge of the erection of the structure and it was 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 51 

stipulated that Laurie was to run the mill after its completion. 
However, when not much more than the foundations had been 
completed, Reilly got into financial difficulties, failed, quit the town 
and left the Martins and Laurie stranded. These men consulted 
William Beckett, at that time a successful practicing attorney of 
Hamilton, with the result that Mr. Beckett interested F. D. Rigdon. 
another Hamilton lawyer, and they, with the Martins, formed what 
proved to be the beginning of the present Beckett Paper company, 
under the firm style of Beckett, Martin & Rigdon. Adam Laurie 
was retained as foreman. In 1850 Mr. Beckett purchased the 
interests of the two Martins and the firm style was changed to 
Beckett & Rigdon. Two years later a second machine was added, 
the business havitig grown to such an extent that such a move was 
found necessary, and in 1854 Adam Laurie bought an eighth interest 
"in the concern. In 1862 or 1863 Mr. Rigdon retired, the firm style 
at that time becoming Beckett & Laurie, and this later was changed 
to Beckett, Laurie & company when Adam Laurie, jr., in 1870, 
was taken into partnership. Under their auspices, Thomas Beckett 
had his training, and in 1885 he was taken into the firm. The 
Becketts then bought the Laurie interests and at that time the 
Beckett Paper company was incorporated with $100,000 capital. 
The mill was subsequently rebuilt, new machines and engines were 
installed which had been built by Hamilton concerns, and from 
that time on the business grew steadily. Improvements continued 
to be made, however, in paper making machinery and several years 
ago Mr. Beckett again decided to reconstruct the entire mill. This 
was done in 1906, the old machinery being entirely scrapped and 
the building razed to make room for the present structure. At 
the present time the Beckett Paper company has the finest equip- 
ment of its kind to be found in the country, and the purchase of 
this large amount of machinery from Hamilton companies attested 
to the worth of their product installed twenty years earlier. In 
1913 a third story was added to the mill to enable the company 
to take care of the rapidly growing business and the end is not 
yet. The company lost heavily in the flood of March, 1913, but was 
able to resume operations in April, and at that time a "Flood 
Bulletin" was sent to the company's customers and dealers all over 
the country, in which occurred these words: "We got pretty wet 
when the Miami rose last March. It was eight feet deep on the 
main floor. But it did not get high enough to dampen our enthusi- 
asm." Which may be called a pretty good Butler county sentiment. 
Clyde S. and Ralph K. Beeler. A name that is indissolubly 
associated with the drug business at Hamilton, is that of Beeler. 
Practically from the close of the Civil war, men of one family 
bearing this name have been the proprietors of pharmacies, and 
their activities have been carried on in such a manner as to make 
the name stand for integrity and honorable dealing in every 
particular. At present the representatives of this family and busi- 
ness are Clyde S. and Ralph K. Beeler, who are conducting a large 
and well-patronized establishment under the style of Beeler Drug 
company. These brothers are sons of S. L. and Sarah Bachelor 



52 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

(Kennedy) Beeler, natives of Hamilton county, Ohio, the former 
born at Sharon and the latter at Montgomery. S. L. Beeler was 
still attending the graded schools when the Civil war came on, but a 
short time after his graduation therefrom managed to be accepted 
as an enlisted soldier in the Union army, and fought bravely until 
being wounded at the battle of Winchester. After receiving his 
honorable discharge, he resumed his education, and after taking 
a course at the Ohio Medical college, at Cincinnati, was given his 
diploma as a graduate physician. At that time he came to Hamilton 
and engaged in the drug" business, in partnership with his brother, 
they purchasing what was then known as the Hanaford Drug store, 
on Main and B streets. This establishment was known for a quarter 
of a century as Beeler Brothers, and continued as such until the 
retirement of the brothers from active participation in business 
affairs. Doctor Beeler, as S. L. Beeler was universally known, died 
in 1910. He was a Spencerian student, and in politics was original- 
ly a Republican, but, as a Free Trader, during Cleveland's campaign, 
and on account of the tariff issue, he became a Democrat. He was 
also one of the early followers of the doctrines of Henry George. 
At all times a public-spirited citizen, he served Hamilton capably as 
a member of the city council, and in various other ways contributed 
to its welfare and advancement. Mrs. Beeler still survives her 
husband. They were the parents of five children : Emma, who 
died in infancy; John M.. assistant cashier of the First National 
Bank of Hamilton, married Winnifred Fox and has two children : 
Ralph K. ; Helen Grace, the wife of G. S. Helvey, manager of the 
Miami Foundry company, of Miamisburg, with two children ; and 
Clyde S. Clyde S. Beeler was born April 30, 1883, and after 
attending the Hamilton graded and high schools became a student 
at the Ohio State university, from which he was graduated in 1903. 
At that time he entered business with his father on Main and B 
streets, and remained with him until the elder man's death, Septem- 
ber 24, 1910, following which he continued in the drug business 
alone until 1915. In that year he formed a partnership with his 
brother, Ralph K., and this business has since been known as Beeler 
Drug company. Mr. Beeler was married October 27, 1917, to Miss 
Adela Schwartz, daughter of J. C. and Pauline (Windsich) 
Schwartz, also of Hamilton, Ohio. During the war period Clyde 
S. Beeler was chairman of the Butler County Food Administration. 
He is widely known in business circles as one of Hamilton's ener- 
getic and resourceful merchants, and is a valued member of the 
Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Merchants association. He 
also has several other civic connections, and belongs to the Hamil- 
ton club and the Butler County Country club. Ralph K. Beeler was 
born at Hamilton, October 15, 1874, and received his early education 
in the graded and high schools of his native city, following which 
he took a course in the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy. Upon 
receiving his diploma, he began teaching chemistry and physics in 
the Hamilton high school and continued as an educator for two and 
one-half years. April 6, 1898, he was married to Mary Hughes, 
daughter of Frank M. Hughes of Butler county, and following their 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 53 

union went to Chicago, where they resided for four years. Return- 
ing to Hamilton, Mr. Beeler purchased a drug business from John 
C. Schwartz, at No. 134 High street, and conducted it from 1903 
until 1915, in the latter year forming a partnership with his brother, 
Clyde S. Beeler. The Schwartz business was then moved to Second 
and High streets and combined with the former establishment. Mr. 
Beeler resides in his own home at No. 379 S. D street, which he 
built. He is an excellent business man, with a high standing in 
trade circles, and an active member of the Retail /Merchants' 
association and the Chamber of Commerce. Mr. and Mrs. Beeler 
are the parents of two children: Hughes, aged nineteen years; and 
Francis, aged eleven years, the former a graduate of the local 
schools and now attending the Ohio State university, at Columbus. 
Adam Beiser. In a history of the prominent and influential 
citizens of Butler county, Adam Beiser is well deserving of mention, 
for his well spent life, his ability, his loyalty to public duty and his 
fidelity in private life have all gained him a place among the leading 
residents of Collinsville. While he is retired from active agricul- 
tural pursuits, in which he was for many years engaged, he is still 
active in the aflFairs of his locality, and while residing at Collinsville 
is a member of the board of township trustees of Milford township. 
Mr. Beiser was born January 1, 1854, at Mauchenheim, Rhine 
Province, Germany, a son of Jacob and Anna Mary (Lingler) 
Beiser. Jacob Beiser was born in 1814, in Bavaria, Germany, where 
he was a small farmer and grain dealer, but in 1867 brought his wife 
and eight children to the United States. Long previous to this 
time, however, the name had been represented in Hamilton com- 
munity, for one of Jacob Beiser's brothers, George, had emigrated 
to this country in 1836 in a sailing vessel, and for years drove a 
stagecoach between Hamilton and Cincinnati, and finally secured 
a farm near Port Union, in which community he was well and 
favorably known. After coming to the United States, Jacob Beiser 
began to work for a farmer on the Middletown pike, where he 
remained five years, subsequently securing possession of the 
Strasser place, in Milford township, Butler county, where he passed 
the remainder of his career and died April 27, 1894. his wife having 
passed away at Hamilton at the age of forty-eight years. They 
were faithful members of St. John's Lutheran church, at Hamilton, 
and the parents of eight children : Jacob, a farmer at Crestonville, 
Ohio, who died in 1918; Lewis, a retired baker of Hamilton ; Adam; 
George, a blacksmith of Chicago, 111. ; Philip, a grocer of Symmes 
Corners, Ohio ; Eva, the wife of Philip Stepp, of Cleveland ; Barbara, 
the wife of Andy Rahtgeber, Crestonville ; and Mary, deceased, who 
was the wife of the late Conrad Kalpfleisch. To the public schools of 
his home community in Germany, Adam Beiser was indebted for 
his educational training, for after he came to the United States, 
at the age of thirteen years. His youth was one filled with hard 
work and he had little opportunity to improve his knowledge by 
attending school. He remained under the parental roof until reach- 
ing the age of twenty-one years, and was married November 26, 
1874, to Louisa, daughter of Conrad and Anna Maria (Hoflfman) 



54 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Bauer, natives of Bavaria. The Bauers came to the United States 
in 1851 and located on a farm near Hamilton, Mr. Bauer also 
working in Hanover and Wayne townships. He died in 1890 and 
his wife in 1894, both as faithful members of Mount Zion Evan- 
gelical Lutheran church, Hamilton. They were the parents of six 
children: Mrs. Beiser; Conrad, a retired farmer of Collinsville ; 
George and John, who both died young; Fred, a farmer and stock- 
man who married Anna Smoyer ; and Mary Ann, who married 
Samuel Niederman, of Ross township, Butler county. Five children 
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beiser : Philip, operating the old 
homestead, who married Mabel Shephard and has three children : 
Ralph, Thelma and Carroll ; Conrad, formerly a resident of Hamil- 
ton, but now a farmer of Hanover township, who married Delia 
Crooker and has one son — Arthur ; William, formerly a farmer, but 
now with the Niles Tool works at Hamilton, who married Emma 
Dome and has one child — Mary Louise; Anna Mary, the wife of 
Earl Brown of Seven Mile, with one son — Allen Charles ; and Bertha, 
the wife of Edgar Truster, a farmer of Collinsville, with two sons — 
Roy and Marion. Following his marriage, Adam Beiser located on 
a farm in Milford township, where he became a prominent farmer 
and influential citizen, and served for ten years as a member of the 
school board. After fifteen years of successful agricultural opera- 
tion in that township, he removed to Hanover township, which 
continued to be his home for six years, and where he also was on 
the school board, being a member thereof for two years. Eventual- 
ly, Mr. Beiser bought a property consisting of 131 acres in Wayne 
township, the old home place, on which he put all the present 
buildings and made numerous other improvements. In addition 
to doing general farming, he raised first Shorthorn cattle and later 
Polled Durham cattle, and Poland China and Duroc Jersey Red 
hogs. In 1906, feeling that through his years of labor he had earned 
a rest, he transferred the burdens of farm work to younger shoulders 
and moved to Collinsville, which has since been his home. As 
before noted, he is at present serving faithfully and capably in the 
ofifice of trustee of Milford township. He has always taken a keen 
interest in political matters, and votes the Democratic ticket. With 
the members of his family, he belongs to St. John's Lutheran church. 
Mr. Beiser is widely known in Butler county, where he has many 
friends, admirers and well-wishers. 

Louis H. Beiser was born in Germany, April 20, 1859, son of 
Valentine and Mary (Wilig) Beiser. When Louis was fourteen 
years of age, he came to this country accompanied by his brother, 
Valentine, sixteen years old. The brothers settled in Hamilton, 
Ohio, but after a brief sojourn in that city, Louis went to Union 
town ship and engaged as a farmhand, and eventually chose the 
vocation of farming as his life work. In 1884, he was married to 
Elizabeth Spangenberger, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth 
Spangenberger, and after his marriage, removed with his bride to 
Fairfield township, where he continued working on his farm. In 
1915, he purchased a tract of seventy-five acres, thus becoming a 
farm owner as well as a farm worker. The same year, the people 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 55 

of the township honored him in an election to the office of trustee, 
the duties of which he performed very satisfactorily. Two children 
have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Beiser: Arthur, married Edna 
Friedman, daughter Frank Friedman, and has one child, Arthur; 
and Luella, deceased. Mr. Beiser was active in the solicitation for 
funds in the various war drives and rendered splendid service in 
that connection. He has achieved much success in life, and that, too, 
in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles encountered in the 
earlier years of his life. In politics Mr. Beiser is a Democrat. 

Philip Beiser, Symmes Corner, in Fairfield township, Butler 
county, claims a due contingent of well ordered business establish- 
ments, and one of the most important of these is the well equipped 
grocery store of Philip Beiser, whose fair and honorable dealings 
and personal popularity, as combined with the effective service 
rendered, have conspired to evolve for him a substantial and profit- 
able mercantile enterprise. Mr. Beiser was born in Germany, in 
December, 1858, and was an infant at the time when his parents. 
Jacob and Mary (Lingler) Beiser, severed the ties that bound 
them to their fatherland and emigrated to the United States. This 
worthy couple established their home at Hamilton, Butler county, 
soon after their arrival in the land of their adoption, and Jacob 
Beiser became one of the sterling pioneer farmers of Fairfield town- 
ship, where he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives, 
secure in the high esteem of all who knew them. The names of 
their children are here entered in respective order of birth : Jacob, 
jr., Louis, Adam, George, Philip, Barbara, Mrs. Rathgeber, Mary, 
Mrs. Kalbfieisch, and Eva, Mrs. Stepp. Reuben Kellner, a grandson 
of Mrs. Barbara Rathgeber, served with the American Expedi- 
tionary Forces in France during the World war, as one of the 
contingent of young patriots who went forth from Butler county, 
Ohio. The early educational advantages of Philip Beiser were 
those aiTorded in the public schools of Hamilton, and after leaving 
school he learned the baker's trade, to which he devoted his atten- 
tion for a period of eight years, during which time he maintained 
his residence at Hamilton. His marriage occurred in 1884 and 
thereafter he and his wife continued their residence in Hamilton 
until 1918, when they removed to Symmes Corner, where Mr. 
Beiser has since conducted a prosperous grocery business, the 
rapid growth of the enterprise indicating the high estimate placed 
upon him by the community. Mr. Beiser is known as a loyal and 
public-spirited citizen, and his patriotism was significantly shown 
during the period of America's participation in the World war, as 
he served on various committees that had supervision of the vigor- 
ous Butler county drives in support of the various governmental 
loans and for the sale of war-savings stamps. He was one of the 
leaders in this patriotic service in his county, and his service reflects 
enduring honor upon him. Mr. Beiser is a Democrat in his political 
allegiance, he and his wife are earnest communicants of St. John's 
Evangelical church, and he is afifiliated with the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Im- 
proved Order of Red Men, the Knights of the Golden Eagle and 



56 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

various benevolent organizations. In 1884 was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Beiser to Miss Eva Spies, a daughter of William 
and Eva (Kraft) Spies, well-known citizens in the vicinity of 
Marietta, Washington county. A fitting close to this brief review 
is the following record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. 
Beiser : Mabel Frances is the wife of George O. Betscher, of 
Hamilton ; Clififond Earl, married Selma Waldrick, and they have 
two children, — Eva and Donald ; Carl Wilhelm, whose death 
occurred November 6, 1918, married Miss Anna Tritsch, who sur- 
vives him, as do also their two sons, — Eugene Philip and Frederick 
Carl; Edwin Eugene assists in the operations of his father's store 
and is still an eligible young man ; Walter James, who resides at 
Hamilton, married Miss Marie Pfoffman and they have two chil- 
dren,T — Arnold and Eldon ; and Philip Stanley died at the age of 
two years. 

Edgar A. Belden. In the person of Edgar A. Belden, who has 
practised so long and so ably at the Hamilton bar, is linked the 
Hamilton of the past and the present. He has been alike a successful 
and distinguished attorney and a just, dignified and impartial 
judge, and in addition is a practical man of affairs, skillful, farseeing 
and reformatory, and an originator of actualities as well as a 
founder of good and new movements. Judge Belden was born at 
Hamilton, November 28, 1855, a son of Samuel C. and Mary 
(Fitton) Belden. His father was born in Massachusetts, November 
29, 1815, and as a young man removed to Hamilton, where he 
became one of the successful business men of his adopted city, his 
energies and abilities for many years being exercised in the 
manufacture of brooms. His death, in 1885, when he was seventy 
years of age, removed from his city one of its capable business men 
and public-spirited citizens. Mrs. Belden, a member of the old 
and honored Fitton family, was born in Butler county, and died in 
1868, when but thirty-eight years of age. They were the parents 
of : James F., for many years in the dry goods business in the employ 
of the D. W. Fitton company ; Horace T., a man of splendid business 
qualities, and teller in the First National bank of Hamilton, who 
died in 1876, at the age of twenty-two years ; Edgar A. ; William 
C, born in 1858, and educated at Hamilton, who in 1882, went to 
California and purchased a fruit farm, was elected in 1902 as judge 
of the court of San Bernardino county, Cal., is married and has 
two children; and Webster A., born at Hamilton in 1860, who has 
spent his career in that city as a manufacturer, and is the father of 
three children. Edgar A. Belden attended the public schools of 
Hamilton and was graduated from the high school in the class of 
1872, shortly after which he went to Cincinnati and for about six 
years was a clerk in the ofhces of the Union Central Life Insurance 
company. In 1879 he resigned to take up the study of law under the 
preceptorship of Hon. Thomas Millikin, one of Hamilton's most 
prominent attorneys, and was admitted to the bar by the Supreme 
Court of the state, February 2, 1881. He at once entered active 
practice at his native place and soon had built up a large and grati- 
fying clientele, which has increased in size and importance with 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 57 

the passing of the years. From the time of the attainment of his 
majority, Judge Belden has given his allegiance to the Republican 
party. In No\ember, 1901, he was elected to the bench of the 
court of common pleas for a term of five years. While the district in 
which he was a candidate was normally Democratic by a large 
majority, many of the voters cast aside partisan preferences because 
of Judge Belden's well-known ability, integrity and entire fitness 
for service, with the result that he secured a majority of more than 
700 votes over his opponent. His course on the bench was marked 
by justice and wisdom, and his decisions were seldom appealed and 
rarely reversed. Fraternally, Judge Belden is identified with the 
Royal Arcanum and the National Union. He has been connected 
with the Y. M. C. A. since its organization, serving as president 
thereof for the first five years of its existence, and is a consistent 
and valued member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1886, 
with other graduates of the Hamilton High school, he was instru- 
mental in effecting the organization of the High School Alumni 
association. May 22, 1888, at Hamilton, Judge Belden was united 
in marriage with Elisa M., daughter of Lucius B. and Mary B. 
Potter, of Hamilton, and to this union there have been born two 
children : Horace and Lucia. 

James E. Bell. Few men are better or more favorably known 
in the enterprising community of Seven Mile than James E. Bell. 
He has been an important factor in financial circles, and his success 
in his undertakings has been so marked that his methods are of 
interest to the commercial world. His advancement in business 
since the beginning of his residence at Seven Mile has been uniform 
and he has perservered in the pursuit of a persistent purpose and 
gained a most satisfactory reward, his position as cashier of the 
Farmers National bank of Seven Mile giving him prestige among 
business men of this locality. Mr. Bell was born at Statesville, 
Tenn., a son of Edward and Margaret (Boyd) Bell, and is of Scotch- 
Irish lineage. The paternal grandparents of Mr. Bell, natives of 
Maryland, emigrated to Kentucky as young people and passed the 
remainder of their lives there. In that state was born Edward Bell, 
who, following his four years of service in the Union army during 
the Civil War, went to Tennessee and engaged in business at 
Statesville, where he acted in the capacity of postmaster. He was 
married in Kentucky and subsequently went to Marion county, 
111., where for several years he was engaged in farming, but later 
returned to Kentucky, and for the balance of his life was engaged 
in farming in Mason county and in conducting a butcher business at 
Germantown. His widow survives him and resides at that place. 
They were the parents of four children : James E., of this review ; 
Thomas H., cashier of the Bank of Trenton, Ohio; Mrs. Mattie 
Guy, of Germantown, Ky. ; and W. B., cashier of the Bank of 
Somerville, Ohio. James E. Bell received a common school edu- 
cation and after graduating from the high school at Flemingsburg, 
Ky., engaged in farming on the home place. He was married March 
28, 1894, to Anna E., daughter of Benjamin and Mollie (Rhoten) 
Kirkland, of Fleming county, Ky., whose uncle, William Rhoten, 



58 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

was a soldier of the Union during the war between the states. 
Following his marriage, Mr. Bell continued to farm for six years, 
and then became mail contractor, a position which he held seven 
years, at Germantown. Leaving Germantown, Mr. Bell went to 
Trenton, where he was identified with the Bank of Trenton until 
1909, when he came to Seven Mile, and August 19 of that year 
became cashier of the Farmers National bank, which was founded 
October 1, 1909, by his brother, Thomas H. Bell. Mr. Bell has 
continued to hold this position ever since, and has built up a reputa- 
tion that has made his name a synonym for integrity and probity 
in the business world, while the substantiality of the institution 
with which he is connected is everywhere acknowledged in banking 
circles, the enterprise having made a most creditable record 
throughout the eleven years of its existence. Mr. Bell is a member 
of the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias and has numerous 
friends in both orders. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church and a supporter of worthy movements pertaining to religious 
and educational advancement. During the war period he took a 
prominent part in the various drives and assisted materially in 
arousing public interest and enthusiasm. 

Samuel Bell. Although the memory of the roar of cannon, of the 
glitter of bayonets and the depressing conditions of an army hospital 
has been drowned somewhat in the later peace of agricultural 
pursuits, the service of Samuel Bell in the Civil war remains the 
paramount and most absorbing experience in the life of this honored 
soldier and farmer of Madison township, Butler county. At the 
time of his enlistment he was just entering upon man's estate, and 
the discipline and hardships of the army broadened his outlook and 
gave him an increased understanding of the responsibilities of life 
that later were to prove of incalculable value to him. Mr. Bell 
was born near Piqua, O., October 14, 1843, a son of John and 
Elizabeth (Riggle) Bell, natives of Pennsylvania, who came to 
Ohio as a young married couple and bought land near Piqua. This 
property was nearly all covered with heavy timber, but was eventu- 
ally cleared and cultivated, and upon it the father passed the rest 
of his life in agricultural pursuits and died at the age of eighty-one 
years. His first wife died in 1849, having been the mother of nine 
children : Henry, who died in 1913 after many years of residence in 
Darke county, Ohio ; David, who served in the 100-day service during 
the Civil war, and later died in Ross county, O. ; Mary, Catherine 
and Betsy, who are deceased; Samuel; Susan, who is deceased; 
Hannah, who married William Schlobiz, of Madison township ; and 
John, deceased. Mr. Bell's second marriage was to Rachael Cum- 
mings, and they had four children : Amos, a ranchman of California ; 
Ida, who lives in Darke county, O. ; and Orlin and Artie, residents 
of Richmond, Ind. The family belongs to the United Brethren 
church. Samuel Bell grew up amid pioneer surroundings, and still 
has a vivid recollection of the heavy timber that stood on the 
homestead. His education was confined to attendance at the old 
log district schoolhouse, to reach which he was compelled to walk 
three miles, and upon his arrival he would sit on a puncheon bench 




THOMAS H. BELL 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL ff 

while perfecting himself in the "three R's." When not attending 
school, he was usually engaged in helping his father and brothers 
in the farm work, and thus his boyhood and youth were passed. He 
reached the age of twenty-one years in 1864, and in the winter of 
that year enlisted in the Union army, joining Company A, 73d 
regiment, O. V. I., at Kingston, O. He was sent to Chattanooga, 
Tenn., where his regiment joined the command of General Hooker, 
and subsequently took part in the battles of Buzzards Roost, Burnt 
Hickory, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek, the siege of Atlanta, Kenesaw 
Mountain, and numerous skirmishes. Mr. Bell contracted typhoid 
fever and for some time was confined to the hospital, but eventually 
recovered and rejoined his command, and went through Alabama 
and North Carolina with General Sherman. At the time of General 
Lee's surrender, the 73d Ohio was near Goldsboro, N. C, whence 
it marched 600 miles to Washington, D. C, and took part in the 
Grand Review. In July, 1865, Mr. Bell was sent to Louisville, 
Ky., and received his honorable discharge at Camp Denison. Fol- 
lowing the war he returned to his home for one year, and then 
came to Madison township, Butler county, where he was married in 
1867 to Miss Sarah Gephart, of Butler county, a daughter of Daniel 
Gephart, a farmer of Madison township, where he died. Mrs. Bell 
died in the fall of 1915, having been the mother of the following 
children : Ed, who is engaged in farming in Madison township ; 
Daniel, deceased, who was also a farmer; John, who has also passed 
away after some years in agricultural pursuits ; Elmer, a Madison 
township farmer, who married Virda Isabell, and has five children, 
— Alice, Stella, Thelma, Renie and Opal ; and William and Iva, who 
are deceased. Two years after his marriage, Mr. Bell settled on 
Brown's Run, in Madison township, where he bought 160 acres, a 
part of the Peter Gephart property, and to this has since added 
sixteen acres. He has made all of the improvements on the place, 
which is now modern in aspect and actuality. Mr. Bell is a general 
farmer, raising tobacco and all kinds of grain, and through industry 
and good management has made a success of his operations. In 
spite of his advanced years he is well preserved and active and 
takes a keen interest in local matters. He is a Republican and has 
held township offices. With his family, he belongs to the Baptist 
church. Mr. Bell is one of the highly respected men of his com- 
munity, and during his long career has never failed to exhibit a high 
order of citizenship. 

Thomas H. Bell. In Thomas H. Bell, the thriving community 
of Trenton has a citizen of recognized worth and standing who has 
contributed to its financial strength and prestige as well as to its 
civic development and importance. A resident of this community 
since 1907 he has allied himself with the interests that have made for 
community strength and stability and as .cashier of the Bank of 
Trenton has impressed his ability and integrity upon the people in 
a way that has gained their confidence and esteem. Mr. Bell was 
born in Marion county. 111., September 30, 1874, a son of Edward 
and Margaret (Boyd) Bell, of Scotch-Irish lineage. The paternal 
grandparents of Mr. Bell, natives of Maryland, emigrated to Ken- 



60 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

tucky, where they passed the remainder of their lives. In that state 
was born Edward W. Bell, who, following his service of four years 
in the Union army during the Civil war, went to Tennessee and 
engaged in business at Statesville, where he acted in the capacity 
of postmaster. He was married in Kentucky and subsequently 
went to Marion county. 111., where for several years he was engaged 
in farming, but later returned to Kentucky, and for the balance of 
his life was engaged in farming in Mason county and in conducting 
a meat business at Germantown. His widow survives him and 
resides at the place last mentioned. They were the parents of four 
children : James E., cashier of the Bank of Seven Mile, Ohio ; 
Thomas H. ; Mrs. Mattie Guy, of Germantown, Ky. ; and W. B., 
cashier of the Bank of Somerville, Ohio. Thomas H. Bell secured 
his education in the public schools of Fleming county, Ky., and 
his business preparation at a commercial eollege. He devoted 
himself principally in farming until 1905, when he entered the Bank 
of Germantown, Ky., and after two years came to Trenton, February 
4, 1907, and organized the Bank of Trenton, of which he has since 
been cashier. In 1909 he was the organizer of the Bank of Seven 
Mile, and in 1910 of the Bank of Somerville, but although he was 
the main factor in the organization of all three of these institutions, 
is interested at this time only in the Bank of Trenton. He has 
assisted in making this a strong and substantial banking house, 
and through his conservative, although progressive, methods has 
gained and held the full faith of the people and succeeded in securing 
an annual addition to the deposits. He is a valued member of the 
local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. During the participation of 
the United States in the great World war, Mr. Bell's abilities were 
enlisted in various war activities, he being chairman of the various 
drives, including the Red Cross and Liberty Bond, and local chair- 
man of the Y. M. C. A. With his family, he belongs to the 
Presbyterian church. May 27, 1908, at Trenton, Mr. Bell was 
united in marriage with Mary, daughter of W. O. and Lou H. 
Dimmitt, of Germantown, Ky., the former of whom is now a 
resident of Trenton. Four children have come to them: Louise M., 
born in 1909; William H., born in 1911 ; Margaret E., born in 1914; 
and Thomas Henry, born in 1917. 

Major John F. Bender, a retired contractor of Hamilton, has 
the distinction of being one of the pioneers of Butler county, and 
he is a man known all over the Miami valley for his probity of 
character and high principles. He was born in the Rhine Province, 
Germany, September 28, 1830, a son of Frederick W. and Catherine 
(Diehl) Bender, both natives of Germany. They realized the 
limitations of their native land, and desiring to get away from the 
oppressive rule of the Prussian military element, they came to the 
United States in January, 1855, making the then long and dangerous 
voyage on a sailing vessel, and after their arrival in this land of 
promise, came west to Ohio, stopping first at Cincinnati, but later 
removing to Hamilton. The good old grandfather, Peter Bender, 
had been active in military aflfairs, serving in the war against 
Holland, and although he was eighty-five years old at the time of 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 61 

his death, he was so active that he was working, up to within two 
weeks of his demise. After the Bender family were settled at 
Hamilton, Frederick Bender, who was a practical carpenter and 
builder, looked about him to see in what way he could best use 
bis knowledge and he and his brothers, William and Ernest, erected 
a planing mill, a frame structure, later replacing it with a four-story 
brick one, with a basement, affording room for the employment of 
150 workmen. They also developed a large contracting business 
and erected all of the principal buildings at Hamilton during their 
time, including those occupied by the Ohio Nail, Tool and Pump 
works, the Mosler Safe company, the McNeil & Urban Safe 
works, the Myers Manufacturing company, three large schools 
and many others. The extensive plant of the pulp mills, which 
turns out annually a product valued at $300,000 was also built by 
these brothers. At first the firm was Bender Bros. Later Frederick 
W. Bender took his sons into partnership, buying out the others, 
and operating under the name of Bender & Sons. After his death, 
the firm became J. F. Bender & Bros. In 1867, Frederick W. 
Bender died, aged sixty-seven, his wife surviving him until 1891, 
when she passed away, aged eighty-six years. While living in 
Germany, Frederick W. Bender gave to his native land the compul- 
sory three years of military service. He and his excellent wife were 
consistent members of the Lutheran church. Their children were 
as follows : John F., whose name heads this review ; Conrad, who 
is deceased, was a carpenter; William F., who is now living retired, 
was at one time interested in the paper mill ; Peter, who was 
formerly a druggist, went to California, and is now a ranch owner 
of that state ; Jacob, who was a hat manufacturer, is now deceased ; 
John, who was a bookkeeper, is deceased, and he married Lena 
Martin; Catherine, who married George lutzi, a retired farmer of 
Hamilton, Ohio, is now deceased ; Lizzie, who is married, lives with 
her son on the Darrtown pike ; Ernestine, who is unmarried, lives at 
Hamilton, O. ; Ernest, who was a carpenter, went to California, and 
there died; Philimena, who was married, is deceased and so is 
Henry, her husband. John F. Bender came to the United States 
when he was twenty-five years old after completing his period of 
military service in the Prussian army. He had learned the car- 
penter trade under his father's supervision, and locating at Hamil- 
ton, found employment for his skill. Later he went into business 
with his father and brothers, and became one of the leading 
contractors of the Miami valley. April 16, 1857, Mr. Bender was 
united in marriage with Miss Mary Elizabeth Herdegan, born in 
Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Bender have three adopted children, who 
were born to a sister of Mrs. Bender, and to them thev have given 
a loving and parental care. They are as follows : Simon Kronester, 
who was associated in business with Mr. Bender for many j'ears, 
and has succeeded to his interests. He was married to Minnie 
Heiser, and their children are as follows : Marcella, who married 
Albert Henneberger, has one child, — Jane ; Helen, Alma and Adelia, 
who are at home ; and Paul, who died at the age of nine years. 
The second adopted child of Mr. and Mrs. Bender is Barbara, who 



62 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

married Conrad Erbeck, a carpenter of Hamilton, Ohio, and their 
children are as follows: Edwin, who is a farmer; Alvin, who is a 
carpenter; Robert, Martha and Arthur, attending school. The 
third adopted child of Mr. and Mrs. Bender is Elizabeth, and she 
has always resided with her adopted parents.. In addition to his 
extensive contracting operations, Mr. Bender found time to serve 
as the head of the Hamilton Brick company, and as tru.stee of the 
Snyder Preserve works, of which he is part owner, and of late 
years he has invested to a considerable extent in farm lands in 
Butler county. Zion Evangelical church of Hamilton has long held 
his membership, and benefits from his generous contributions. 
Since casting his first vote, Mr. Bender has very strongly supported 
the candidates of the Republican party, and if he had so desired, 
could very probably have had any office within the gift of his 
neighbors, but he has never had political aspirations. Like so 
many of the Germans of his age, Mr. Bender served his adopted 
country during the Civil war, his former military training coming 
into good stead in the new land. He enlisted in the Ohio National 
Guards, and was advanced to the rank of major under Colonel 
Moore. His period of service expiring, he was mustered out in 
Virginia, in 1864. Since the organization of the Hamilton Post, 
G. A. R., Mr. Bender has been one of its active members. Both Mr. 
and Mrs. Bender stand very high in public esteem. During the 
many years they have resided at Hamilton they have seen it develop 
along all lines, and have borne their part in this remarkable growth. 
David A. Bevis, son of David and Axsher (Stout) Bevis, was 
born in Colerain township, Hamilton county, Ohio, September 19, 
1857. The father, David, was also born in Colerain township. The 
latter was the son of Jesse Bevis, who came from England and was 
one of the pioneers of this section, who experienced all the incon- 
veniences and suffered the deprivations and hardships undergone 
by those sturdy old settlers. Oliver, a brother of David, sr., was a 
soldier in the War of Rebellion and gave his life in the service of 
his country. David A., subject of this sketch, was the eleventh 
child in a family of twelve children, and received his education at 
College Hill, Colerain township, and on completion of his schooling, 
he began the occupation of a farmer. In 1883, he was married to 
Cora Bosserman, daughter of George and Alvira (Jacques) Bosser- 
man, one of whose nephews, Charles Bosserman, served with dis- 
tinction with the U. S. army in France. Until 1913, Mr. Bevis 
was engaged in farming in Plamilton county, when he removed to 
Ross township, Butler county, where he purchased a fine farm of 
ninety-seven acres, which he has made a very notable success and 
to which he still devotes his time and energy. The home-life of 
Mr. and Mrs. Bevis is especially charming and elevating and such 
as can but exert a good influence throughout the entire community. 
To them it is also most gratifying that the three sons born to them 
— Rolland, Normund and Emery — are not only successfully solving 
business afifairs but are the heads of happy contented homes. 
Normund, a graduate of the seminary at Dayton, Ohio, is a prominent 
minister of the United Brethren church and lives at Union City, 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 63 

Ind. Emery, born November 2, 1892, after graduating from the 
common and high schools and the Mechanic's institute, of Cin- 
cinnati, was for three years engaged in mercantile pursuits which 
were given up for farm work. In 1915, he was married to Frieda 
Harmony, daughter of George and Libbian Harmony, of Colerain 
township, and now has in charge a fine farm of sixty-three acres. 
Rolland, born March, 1884, after graduating from the common and 
high school, completed a course in the Cincinnati High school, 
specializing in mechanics. He became a practical carpenter, worked 
in Kansas City, where he studied architecture and home building, 
and business relations with Des Jardins, the well-known Cincinnati 
architect, developed into a partnership. In 1809, he married Mary 
A. Burns, daughter of A. Y. and Marie (Lehne) Burns, of Ross, 
Ohio. The result of this marriage is two children, Robert F. and 
Leona M. After marriage, they lived a short time in Cumminsville, 
then moved to the home farm, the affairs of which continue under 
his management. 

Henry Joseph Bieker. There can be no more desirable associa- 
tion in the business world than that which exists in the case of a 
partnership of father and son. The elder man's experience is backed 
up and strengthened by the greater energies and enthusiasm of the 
younger man, combining to form a happy whole which makes for 
success in any line. One of these affiliations exists at Hamilton, 
where Theodore and Henry Joseph Bieker, father and son, are 
engaged in the custom tailoring business, having an excellent 
patronage at their establishment at No. 16 S. Second street. Henry 
Joseph Bieker was born September 22, 1883, at Hamilton, Ohio, a 
son of Theodore and Margaret (Turnbeit) Bieker, the former a 
native of Germany and the latter of Butler county. Theodore 
Bieker was educated in his native land, where he learned his trade 
and where his home was made until he reached the age of twenty- 
four years. At that time, deciding there was a better future for 
him in America, he emigrated to this country and located at Hamil- 
ton, where he held various positions for some years. Eventually, 
after he had worked for a number of merchant tailors in the 
capacity of coat maker, in 1903, he embarked in business on his 
own account, establishing himself as a custom tailor in a store on 
Main street. The business flourished and father and son continued 
at the same location until the disastrous flood of 1913 caused them 
a loss of $6,000 and practically destroyed their establishment. As 
soon as possible, they secured a new location, opening their present 
tailoring establishment at No. 16 S. Second street, where they have 
since remained. Their reputation for making finely tailored and 
stylish garments has spread to other localities and they at present 
have a patronage of the most desirable kind. June 14, 1881, 
Theodore Bieker married Margaret Turnbeit, and not long there- 
after built the present comfortable and attractive family home at 
No. 344 Wayne street. Nine children have been born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Bieker : a daughter who died in infancy ; Frank, who died at 
the age of sixteen years ; Lou, a machinist of Hamilton, who 
married Mary Beckman of this city and has two children : Margaret, 



64 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

the wife of Frank Bradner, a machinist of Hamilton, with one 
child ; Mary and Louise, who are unmarried and reside with their 
parents ; William, aged twenty-six years, formerly associated in 
the tailoring business with his father, at outbreak of war enlisted 
in the 322nd Field Artillery, was stationed at Camp Sherman for 
seven months in training, and then was sent overseas, where he 
saw active service, is now at home, associated again in the business, 
and a member of the Elks and the Eagles ; Paul, a machinist of 
Hamilton, who married Merle Emrick; and Henry Joseph, of this 
review. Henry J. Bieker received his education in the graded' 
schools of Hamilton, and learned the trade of custom tailor under 
the able tuition of his father, supplementing this by taking a course 
in custom cutting in Chicago. In 1903, he became established in 
business with his father, and it is due to his energetic labors and 
skill in workmanship largely that the business has proved such a 
success. July 2, 1912. Mr. Bieker married Mary Ann, daughter of 
Peter Becker, formerly of Harrison township, Butler county, but 
now of Hamilton. To this union there have been born three 
children: Mary Ann, born in 1913; Robert Louis, born in 1916; and 
John R., born April 27, 1919. The pleasant family home is located 
at 342 Wayne street. The family holds membership in St. Peter's 
church, and Mr. Bieker has a number of business, social and civic 
connections. 

George S. Bishop, (deceased), the scion of a prominent family 
among Ohio's educators, was born in Oxford, Ohio, August 21, 1845, 
a son of Robert H. Bishop, jr., of Miami university. George S. 
Bishop's paternal grandfather, Robert H. Bishop, sr., was a native 
of Scotland, born in 1777, and became a Presbyterian minister. 
Later he came to Kentucky, and being a man of profound learning 
was asked to take a professorship at Transylvania university. In 
1824, he was appointed the first president of Miami university, 
Oxford, Ohio. From this high seat he taught many of Ohio's 
great men, and among his students was enrolled the illustrious 
Benjamin Harrison, who later became president of the United 
States. For many years the Reverend Bishop was a moulder of 
men, and his influence has been keenly felt in Ohio wherever his 
students were able to act upon the great example of their teacher. 
Robert H. Bishop, jr., George S. Bishop's father, after his gradua- 
tion from Miami, taught in the university for thirt)r-seven years. 
From 1857 to 1887, he held the chair of the Latin professorate, and 
later became professor emeritus of Latin. For thirty-five years 
he was secretary of the board of trustees of Miami college. After 
his death, his daughter, Anna Bishop, became secretary of the 
board, and this position she held until 1908, when she was succeeded 
by George S. Bishop. Mr. George Bishop was the third of the 
Bishop male line to serve Miami university. In 1867 he graduated 
with second highest honors. Before graduation, and during his 
years of study at the university — it was in the year 1864 — he enlisted 
in Company A, the 167th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, and served 
dui'ing the duration of the Civil war. At the close of the war, after 
finishing his course at the university, he was principal of the 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 65 

academy at Bloomingburg, later taught at Covington, and still 
later was principal of the academy at Sangamon, 111. After serving 
in such capacities, he went to Kansas, and while there pursued the 
study of law, and was state representative from his district. He 
was also the president of a National bank in the State of Kansas. 
In 1908, he returned to Oxford, Ohio, and was appointed business 
director of the university. Soon after he was selected as secretary 
of the board of trustees, in which capacity he served until the time 
of his death, which occurred November 7, 1916. George S. Bishop 
was married October 27, 1881, at the family home, Glendale, Ohio, 
to Virginia Oliphant Patterson, a daughter of Rev. Dr. A. O. and 
Maria (Speer) Patterson. James Buchanan, president of the United 
States, was the first cousin of Maria Speer, his mother being a Speer. 
Other illustrious relatives of the Speer family included Benjamin 
Harrison, of Indiana. A brother of Mrs. George Bishop, Dr. John 
E. Patterson, was a surgeon in the army during the Civil war. 
James R. Patterson, L. L. D., another brother, was a trustee of 
Miami university and with Whitelaw Reid, later ambassador from 
the United States to Great Britatin, made possible the erection of 
the beautiful Alumni Library building, of the university group of 
edifices, by reason of their liberal donations. Anna Patterson, a 
sister of Mrs. George Bishop, married J. S. Earhard, who was a 
captain during the Civil war. Another sister, Alice C. Patterson, 
was synodical secretary of the Presbyterian Home Missionary 
society of Ohio, and compiled the reports of this society from 1882 
to 1915. After marriage, George Bishop and his wife lived in 
Kansas, where he was prominent in business and in politics, as the 
sketch above shows. Later they moved to Glendale, and finally to 
Oxford. To them was born Maria Speer Bishop, who graduated 
at Glendale college, afterward studying at Oxford. George Bishop 
was at one time county surveyor of Jewell county, Kans., and was 
a deputy United States revenue collector, in Kansas, from 1880 
to 1884. In his death Ohio and Oxford, as well as Miami university, 
have suffered a loss that will be keenly felt for years to come. His 
accomplishments and achievements will live forever in the annals of 
the university, and his name will be spoken tenderly by students 
in generations to come. Mr. Bishop's widow resides in Oxford. 

J. F. Bishop. The career of J. F. Bishop, of College Corner, as 
a dealer in real estate, has extended over a period covering nearly 
a quarter of a century, during which time he has supplied the 
medium through which numerous important transactions have been 
successfully and satisfactorily conducted. During this long time 
he has steadfastly maintained a reputation as a man of high business 
principles and ideals, who, underlying his desire for personal ad- 
vancement, has always had at heart the welfare of his community as 
to material advancement and progress. He is a native of Preble 
county, born one mile north of Fairhaven, August 1, 1858, and a 
son of John and Ellen (Laird) Bishop, the father born on the same 
farm as his son, and the mother a native of Ireland. Mrs. Bishop 
came to the United States with her parents as a child, the family 
settling near Mixersville, Franklin county, Ohio. After their mar- 



66 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

riage Mr. and Mrs. Bishop settled on a farm in Israel township, 
Preble county, where they resided for some years, and where both 
died and are buried. They were the parents of nine children : James 
M., Alice, J. F., Mrs. Mary F. Wells, Mrs. Catherme Collins, 
William, Mrs. Caroline Bostick, Charles and Mrs. Fannie Heaven- 
ridge. J. F. Bishop is indebted to the public schools of Fairhaven 
for his education, and after leaving school was engaged for three 
years in farming for his father-in-law. He then went to Darke 
county, Ohio, where he continued agricultural operations for four 
years, then going to Greenville, where he was engaged in the im- 
plement business. He also worked as a traveling representative 
for a fertilizer company, but eventually located at College Corner, 
where for twenty-three years he has carried on a general real estate 
business, with constantly growing success. He has engineered 
some large and important transactions, enjoys an excellent reputa- 
tion in business circles, and is generally accounted a good judge of 
realty values and a man entirely capable of handling any matter 
which comes within the scope of his line of effort. March 18, 1886, 
Mr. Bishop was united in matrimony with Sallie, daughter of Joseph 
M. Stout, of College Corner. Mrs. Bishop died August 7, 1897, 
leaving one son, Fred S., who was born in 1887. He was educated 
in the public schools of College Corner and at Purdue university, 
from which he was graduated as an electrical engineer, a profession 
which he followed for a number of years. At the present time he 
is purchasing agent for the Staar Piano company, of Richmond, 
Ind. He married Elsie Earhart of College Corner. J. F. Bishop has 
a number of business, civic and social connections, and is actively 
and constructively identified with the various activities which go 
to make up life in his community, where he has been a helpful 
factor in the support of worth-while movements. 

Hon. C. M. Black. Some men attain to more than ordinary 
prominence through the recognition by their associates of their 
ability to discharge certain duties, and this is undoubtedly the 
case of Hon. C. M. Black, who during the past four years has served 
as mayor of College Corner, Ohio. Elected first in 1915, during 
his first administration he gave such forcible evidence of his execu- 
tive capacity that his fellow-citizens again chose him for the office 
at the election of 1917, and his subsequent term has been one in 
which he has continued to work with excellent results toward the 
attainment of civic perfection. Mr. Black was born in Union 
township, Union county, Ind., July 24, 1862, a son of George and 
Mary (Stewart) Black, the former a native of Rockbridge county, 
Va., and the latter of Pennsylvania. George Black was twenty 
years of age when, with his brother, he came overland on horseback 
from the Old Dominion state to Union county, Ind., and settled on 
a farm in Union township. He was first married to a Miss Miller, 
by whom he had five children : Mary, whose husband, George 
Winand, fought as a soldier in the Civil war and was a prisoner in 
Andersonville for three months ; Miller, who served three years as 
a soldier during the Civil war ; Nan, Delazon and Rachael. His 
gecond wife was a Miss Cox, and after her death he married Maty 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 67 

Stewart, and who had come from Pennsylvania with her parents, the 
family settling on a farm near Loveland, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. 
Black passed their lives as farming people and were highly respected 
in their community, where they were faithful members of the 
Presbyterian church. They were laid to rest in the Kingery grave- 
yard. They had three children: C. M.; B. M., of Butler county; 
and Miss Electa. After attending the country schools of Union 
county, Ind., C. M. Black began working as a farmhand, and 
continued as an agriculturist for nineteen years. He was married 
March 20, 1884, to Rena, daughter of Hugh and Sarah (Davis) Roll, 
the latter the daughter of Samuel Davis, at one time recorder of 
Butler county. Hugh Roll was a blacksmith of College Corner, and 
both he and his wife lie buried in the Oxford cemetery. They had 
four children : Van Landingham, Davis, Charles and Rena. By 
his first marriage, Mr. Black had nine children : Sarah, who is now 
Mrs. David Owens, of Richmond, Ind.; Mary, who is deceased; 
Morris, of Boston, Ind.; Dwight, of College Corner; Camilla, the 
wife of O. Overman, of Richmond, Ind.; Ivan, of College Corner; 
Esther, a trained nurse of Richmond, Ind. ; Kesley, a student in the 
home community ; and one child who died in infancy. Ivan Black, 
of this family, enlisted in the regular army and was trained at Fort 
Thomas, Ky., Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., and Camp Greene, N. C, be- 
coming an attache of the Medical Base Hospital Corps and serving 
until receiving his honorable discharge in February, 1919. He was 
born October 4, 1897, and was married January 3, 1919, to Frieda 
Lynch, who was born at Burlington, N. C, and who had served as 
a Red Cross nurse at Camp Sevier, S. C. Morris Black, one of the 
older sons, served for three years in the regular army and saw 
active service in the Philippine Islands during the time of the 
Philippine Insurrection. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Black 
married Carrie, daughter of Louis and Katie (Epley) Ault, who 
are still living at College Corner and are the parents of nine chil- 
dren; Carrie; Emma, the wife of Chas. Hayes, Fair Haven, Ohio; 
Louise, of Hamilton, Ohio ; Edward of Indianapolis, Ind. ; Clara, 
wife of Howard Bryant, Oxford, Ohio ; Marie, wife of Soren Pierce, 
of Hamburg, N. Y. ; Mable, wife of Orea Brown, College Comer, 
Ohio; Margarite and Charles, deceased. For some years C. M. 
Black continued to be engaged in farming, but about 1904 
took up his residence at College Corner where, he applied him- 
self to the trade of carpenter, a vocation which he had learned 
in his youth. He was a skilled, efificient and conscientious work- 
man and was able to build up an excellent business, at the 
same time thoroughly establishing himself in public favor and 
confidence. Thus, by the time he became a candidate, in 1915, 
he was well known to the people as a man of sound and prac- 
tical ideas, absolute integrity and industry, and received a large 
majority at the polls. He vindicated the people's confidence by 
giving them an excellent administration and was accordingly re- 
elected in 1917. His administrations have been excellent ones, in 
which he has managed civic affairs of government in a businesslike, 
expeditious and thoroughly efficient manner. He was active in 



68 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

the promotion of all war activities and had charge of the Red Cross 
membership at College Corner. His religious faith is that of the 
Presbyterian church, to which the members of his family also 
belong. 

Dwight E. Black, the well-known blacksmith of College Corner, 
Ohio, was born in College Corner, June 15, 1889, the son of C. M. and 
Rena (Roll) Black. His education he received from the fine graded 
school and high school of Union county, Ind. After finishing at the 
latter institution, he learned the blacksmith's trade, and five years 
ago, started into business for himself. In October, 1912, he married 
Ruth Ridenour, daughter of David and Pauline (Flock) Ridenour. 
His wife's father, David Ridenour, was born in Preble county, Ohio, 
and his wife in Berlin, Germany. She came to this country with her 
parents some years before her marriage, and with them settled in 
Union county, Ind. To David and Pauline Ridenour were born 
twelve children. Those living are : Charles, of Richmond ; George, 
now of Liberty, Ind. ; William, also living in Liberty ; Sylvanus, who 
married Miss Rogers ; August, of Mixersville ; Curtis, of College 
Corner; Alonzo, of Liberty, Ind; Ruth, the wife of the subject of 
this sketch; and Lester. The marriage of Dwight Black and Ruth 
Ridenour has been blessed with two children : Rena Pauline and 
Curtis Rogers Black. The family belong to the local Presbyterian 
church. Mr. Black is active in K. P. lodge circles, as well as in 
Masonic circles. During the war he entered whole-heartedly into 
patriotic work, his endeavor being crowned with great success. 

Edward C. Blacker. Practical industry wisely and vigorously 
applied seldom fails of winning success, and the life of Edward C. 
Blacker is but another proof of this statement. With only ordinary 
advantages in his youth, he started out to make his own way in the 
world, and his diligence and judicious management have brought 
to him a handsome reward for his labors. He is now one of the well- 
to-do retired agriculturists of Butler county, spending the evening 
of life at Seven Mile after many years spent in farming, and in his 
life are many principles which might well be taken as examples 
by those of the rising generations. Mr. Blacker was born on a farm 
in Riley township, Butler county, Ohio, October 21, 1849, a son of 
James H. and Sarah (Tinney) Blacker. His paternal grandfather, 
Edward Blacker, was a native of Ireland, who, as an early immi- 
grant to Butler county, secured wild land from the Government in 
Riley township, and there hewed out a home from the wilderness 
and developed a good farm. He married a Miss Port and both 
passed the rest of their lives in Riley township, being the parents of 
five children : James H., Clara, Allen, Louisa and William. James 
H. Blacker was born in Riley township, and while the schools of his 
day in Butler county were somewhat primitive, he was an omnivor- 
ous reader, and not only obtained an excellent education but also 
became a great Bible student. After his marriage he located on the 
old home place, where he spent the rest of his life with the exception 
of sixteen years passed in Union county, Ind. His death occurred 
when he was eighty-four years of age, and his wife passed away 
when seventy, both being faithful members of the Methodist Episco- 




MR. AND MRS. I. G, BL.MNH .\ND P..\BY RICHARD ALLEN 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 69 

pal church. Mr. Blacker was a Democrat. His children were: 
William, a retired farmer of Richmond, Ind. ; Edward C. ; John, a 
farmer of Union county, Ind. ; James, a farmer of Franklin county, 
Ind., who died in 1916; and Nancy and Ella, deceased. Edward C. 
Blacker attended the public schools of Peoria, Ind., and seems to 
have inherited some of his father's desire for attaining an advanced 
education, for as a student his mind was bright and retentive and he 
took a leading place in his classes. During his earlier years he spent 
many winter terms in teaching, and thus passed ten years in Riley 
and Morgan townships, Butler county, and several terms in Indiana. 
In the meantime, in the summer months, he applied himself to farm- 
ing, and remained on the home place until the time of his marriage, 
in October, 1873, to Charlotte, a daughter of William and Margaret 
J. Salmon, the former of German lineage and the latter of Welsh and 
Irish stock, Mr. Salmon being for many years a farmer of Riley 
township. Following his marriage, Mr. Blacker went to Franklin 
county, Ind., where he resided for seven years, following which he 
went to Union county, in the same state, and lived sixteen years. 
Returning then to Riley township, Butler county, Ohio, he bought 
the old Salmon homestead of 160 acres, on which he made his home 
for twenty-three years, retiring in the spring of 1916, at which time 
he disposed of his interests in the land and moved to his present 
home at Seven Mile. During the active years of his life, Mr. 
Blacker was looked upon as a skilled and thoroughly learned agri- 
culturist, and his operations in the various departments of farming 
met with marked success, his sound judgment in business matters 
and his well-directed eflforts bringing to him a handsome compe- 
tence. He may truly be said to be a self-made man, for success comes 
to the busy toilers of the world, of whom he is one, and in the ac- 
quirement of his property his methods were ever honorable and 
commendable, winning him the respect and confidence of all with 
whom he was brought into contact. During the time that he was 
engaged in teaching school he kept a private register of his scholars 
for many years, and can readily find where most of his old pupils 
now live, although his memory is so remarkable that he seldom has 
to use this volume for reference. He is a Democrat by political 
preference, but has not cared for the honors or contests of political 
or public life. He has been content to be a good citizen and a sup- 
porter of what he has considered good measures and movements. 
His religious belief is that of the Presbyterian church, in the faith 
of which Mrs. Blacker died March 23. 1918, interment being made at 
Riley. 

James G. Blaine, the subject of this sketch, is a descendant from 
the same ancestral line as that to which the distinguished American 
statesman bearing the same name belonged, and is endowed with 
the sturdy, virile characteristics of his illustrious forefathers. He is 
the son of James P. and Nancy A. (Statts) Blaine, and was born 
near Parkersburg, W. Va., August 2, 1883. His parents died in that 
place— the father on August 28, 1898; the mother, July 28, 1913. 
There were seven children in the family, all of whom are living: 
George, at Youngstown, Ohio ; Thomas and Frank, at Rochester, 



70 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Pa. ; Laura, Mrs. Victor Polsley, at Wellsville, Ohio ; Sara, Mrs. 
E. W. Proffitt, in Bridgeport, Ohio ; Bergen E., in Huntington, W. 
Va. ; and James G., our subject, who for the past twenty-three years 
has worked in various mills as a roller and came from Wheeling, 
W. Va., to Middletown, September 9, 1911, to accept a similar posi- 
tion with the American Rolling Mill company. On December 24, 
1912, he married Miss Ella Sims, daughter of the late Capt. and Mrs. 
Mary Sims, of Middletown. They have one child, a handsome and 
robust son, Richard Allen Blaine, the joy of the household, born 
December 5, 1918. Mrs. Blaine's father, Capt. Sims, and Mr. Blaine's 
grandfathers Blaine and Statts served in the Civil war with bravery 
and honor, and where grandfather Capt. Franklin Blaine lost one 
leg. Mr. and Mrs. Blaine are held in high esteem by a large circle 
of friends and acquaintances. They have a most elaborate home in 
Arlington square in which they find pleasure, contentment and hap- 
piness. In politics, Mr. Blaine is a Republican. He is a member of 
the Methodist Episcopal church and also of the K. of P. and Elks 
orders. 

John L. Blair, who is widely and favorably known in commer- 
cial circles of Middletown as the proprietor of a thriving grocery on 
South Clinton street, and who has also performed capably and con- 
scientiously the duties pertaining to several public ofifices, belongs to 
a family which has been connected with the business history of this 
community for sixty-eight years. He was born at Middletown, 
June 22, 1864, a son of John and Barbara (McLean) Blair, and a 
grandson of John and Janet (Barr) Blair, who met and were mar- 
ried at Campbelltown, near Glasgow, Scotland. The Blair family 
is traced back to the old Romans in Britain. In the second century, 
history relates, the Romans in Perthshire, Scotland, according to 
their reckoning, gained a great victory over the Caledonians, the 
scene of the decisive battle being known as Blair's Hill, which would 
indicate that Blair was a familiar name even at that early date. 
Among ancient castles of Scottish chiefs was Blair Castle, the strong- 
hold of the Montrose clan in 1644, which was stormed by Cromwell 
about ten years later. In 1690 it was practically a ruin, but 200 
years later was restored, and at present is the seat of the Duke of 
Athole. The home of the Drummonds of Perthshire is called Blair- 
Drummond house. In the new world, a famous old Blair home is 
that of the late Judge John Blair of Williamsburg, Va., which is still 
one of the early colonial landmarks. American branches of the Blair 
family trace back to Scotland through John Blair, of Virginia, an 
early colonist, and one Alexander Blair was a forefather also in the 
Old Dominion. One of the New England forefathers was David 
Blair, of Massachusetts, whose son, Robert, married Hannah 
Thompson. James Blair of Virginia was the founder of William 
and Mary college and its first president, and too was a contemporary 
of three governors of Virginia, Spottiswood, Gooch and Dinwiddie. 
Like them, he was of Scotch birth. The statesmen of the Blair fam- 
ily have included Senator Henry Blair of the New England family 
and Judge Montgomery Blair, of Kentucky. Senator Francis Pres- 
ton Blair of Kentucky, who was born in Virginia after the close of 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 71 

the Revolutionary war, was a son of James Blair, attorney general 
of Kentucky. Montgomery Blair and Francis Blair, sr., were broth- 
ers. The family of President James K. Polk was allied with the 
Blairs. "Like Angels' visits, short and far between," is a line from 
one of the poems of Robert Blair, who was born in Edinburg, Scot- 
land, and one of whose sons became lord president of the Court of 
Sessions. Hugh Blair, another relative, was born in Edinburg. 
His volume of sermons so pleased King George HI that he granted 
him a pension, and the success of his lectures on literature led to 
the foundation of a chair of belles lettres at Edinburgh university. 
The Blair coat-of-arms is blazoned argent on a saltier sable nine, 
nine mascles voided sable. Crest : A stay lodged proper. Motto : 
"Amo probos (I love the virtuous)." This is the coat-of-arms of 
the Blairs of Scottish birth. There is a similar blazon of arms for 
the Blairs born in Ireland, only the number of mascles is five and 
there are crescents, mullets and garbs, symbolizing sincerity, loyalty 
and constancy. The parents of John L. Blair were young people 
when they came to the United States from their native land of Scot- 
land, and were married at Middletown in 1854. They came to Mid- 
dletown, where John Blair became one of this city's first paper man- 
ufacturers, being superintendent of the old Barnitz Paper company. 
Later he embarked in the grocery business, with which he was con- 
nected until the time of his retirement in 1900. His death occurred 
June 14, 1906, and that of his wife in 1908. He was an elder in the 
Presbyterian church for a period of forty years, and he and his wife 
were the parents of four children : John L. ; Anna, the wife of W. H. 
Ely, of Middletown ; Miss Isabel Edna, of this city ; and Jennie, the 
wife of J. F. Winton, of Philadelphia. John L. Blair was educated 
in the public schools of Middletown, and when he was still a youth 
began to be associated with his father in the conduct of the grocery 
business. At the time of his father's retirement, in 1900, he as- 
sumed the management, and at the present time is sole owner of the 
business, which is located at 316 Clinton street and enjoys an ex- 
cellent patronage. Recognized as one of Middletown's premier 
business men, progressive and enterprising, Mr. Blair has also served 
his community well and energetically in offices of public importance, 
having been president of the school board for two years, a member 
of the city council one year and a member of the board of public 
service for six years and eight months, during two years of which 
time he was president of that body. As a fraternalist he belongs to 
the Masons and his religious connection is with the Presbyterian 
church. January 15, 1891, Mr. Blair married Bertha Rebecca 
Thompson, who came from Belfast, Ireland, and whose father died 
November 2, 1906, her mother passing away in Ireland. Mr. and 
Mrs. Blair are the parents of six children : Hugh Thompson, Charles, 
Agnes Lucile, John Milton, Vincent Paul and Eugene. 

John Richard Blankenship, a heater in the employ of the Amer- 
ican Rolling mill and a son of John Richard and Martha (Gannon) 
Blankenship, was born September 17, 1886, at Ashland. Ky. On 
completion of his education in the public schools of that place, he 
secured employment in a furniture factory, and later entered a steel 



72 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

plant, where he learned his trade. Mr. Blankenship's parents are 
old settlers of Ashland, and still have their home there. In addition 
to the subject of this sketch, there were fourteen children in the 
family: Belle, Mrs. Alfred Dinsmore, of Ashland; Mollie, Mrs. 
Henry White; William and Mattie, Mrs. Elmer Brown; all of Iron- 
ton, Ohio ; James Cummings and Joe, in Ashland ; Charles, in Los 
Angeles, Calif. ; Colonel and Lida, Mrs. Tom Ratlifif, in Ashland ; 
Gerald, in the United States Navy ; Otis, in Ashland ; Leona, in West 
Virginia; Jess, in Ashland; and one who died in infancy. The fam- 
ily is noted for its patriotism. The paternal grandfather served in 
the Mexican war and lost a leg in battle in the Civil war ; William 
and Joe were in the Spanish-American war ; James also was in the 
Spanish-American war and has been for the past twenty-eight years 
with the United States Army ; Colonel is with the Army of Occu- 
pation in Germany ; and Gerald is in the United States Navy. In 
1911, Mr. Blankenship went to Middletown and took a position with 
the American Rolling Mill compan}' as heater, and through the years 
of his service has been a faithful worker. His marriage to Eva 
Rosena Schmitt, daughter of Herman and Catherine (Conrad) 
Schmitt, took place in Middletown, May 7, 1914. Mrs. Blankenship 
was born in Middletown, September 16, 1891. Her two brothers, 
Herman and Arthur, and the parents also live there. Four children : 
Paul, Catharine, Edna May and Mary Margaret, have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Blankenship. A few years ago a splendid new home 
was built on Grand avenue, in which the members of the family take 
much pleasure and delight. Mr. Blankenship is an industrious and 
thrifty man, and in political matters he is liberal. 

John Block, who is one of the best known residents of Union 
township, Butler county, lives retired on his well improved farm 
which he cultivated with care and profit for many years. Mr. Block 
was born in 1832, in Holstein, Germany, attended school in boyhood 
and afterward assisted his father in tilling their small tract of land. 
Desiring better agricultural opportunity than was possible in Hol- 
stein at that time for young men without capital, when twenty years 
of age he came to the United States and as many of his countrymen 
had settled in Ohio, he naturally sought a home here also. He found 
immediate employment as a farmhand in Butler county, nea'r 
Hughes station, and continued working on farms in the county until 
1884 when he Ijought his present farm of 144 acres and has lived 
here ever since. Through industry he prospered and through econ- 
omy he put aside for the time when he should retire, hence he is in 
very comfortable circumstances. He married Stephina Braun and 
they have the following children : Carrie Elizabeth, Henry, Masie 
M., John, Charles, Anna, George and Frank. Mr. Block reared his 
large family in comfort and gave them educational advantages. At 
one time he served in the office of road supervisor. He belongs to 
St. John's Lutheran church at Hamilton. 

Harry C. Blum. Energetic and successful in business life and 
prominent and public-spirited in civic afifairs, for some years Harry 
C. Blum has been known as one of Hamilton's substantial citizens, 
a reliable and trustworthy man who has combined the qualities of 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 73 

marked business talents and constructive citizenship into a factor 
that has contributed to his community's well-being. He is a native 
son of Hamilton, his parents being Ernest F. and Salina (Garver) 
Blum. Ernest F. Blum was born in Germany and was a child when 
brought to the United States and settled in Texas. He was still a 
youth when he came to Cincinnati and enlisted in the Union army 
for service during the Civil war, joining the 9th Ohio Volunteer In- 
fantry, under Col. Bob McCook, with which organization he took 
part in several hard-fought battles. When his first term of service 
expired, he re-enlisted, in the 167th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer In- 
fantry, with which he fought bravely until the close of the struggle. 
Returning to civil life, he became a member of the furniture firm of 
Sortman & Blum, which in the early days manufactured coffins and 
furniture by hand, and continued as a furniture manufacturer for 
many years, or until his retirement, which preceded his death by a 
short time. His first wife, Salina Garver, who died when her only 
son and child, Harry C, was an infant, was born at Hamilton, and 
was a member of the old and honored Garver family, which settled 
in America in Colonial times, contributed of its members to the 
ranks of the army during the Revolutionary war and the War of 
1812, subsequently located in Pennsylvania, and from that state 
came as pioneers to Ohio. After the death of his first wife, Mr. 
Blum married Miss Emilie Beer, of Hamilton, of German ancestry, 
and they had four children: Mathilda, Anna, Jennie and Emma. 
Harry C. Blum was educated in the public schools of Hamilton, fol- 
lowing which he took a course in a business college here, and then 
entered the factory of his father's business. Later he was taken into 
the office, as bookkeeper, and then filled a like position with the 
Gordon Steam Pump company, with which he remained for eight 
years. In 1895 he became selling agent for the Cincinnati Packing 
and Abattoir company, and after many years spent on the road was 
appointed distributing agent for this concern for Hamilton and the 
vicinity. He has a wide acquaintance in his line of business, as well 
as in commercial and industrial circles generally, and has the com- 
plete confidence and respect of those with whom he has come in 
contact. Mr. Blum is also an accomplished musician, a talent in- 
herited from his father, and for several years was orchestra leader 
at the Hamilton opera house. He has been prominent and active in 
local politics, as a Republican, was for some time city treasurer, a 
position to which he was appointed, and is now a member of the 
county board of elections. His fraternal afifiliations include mem- 
bership in the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks and the United Commercial Travelers, and with his 
family he belongs to the Methodist church. In 1893 Mr. Blum mar- 
ried Rose, daughter of Booth F. Stead, a veteran of the Civil war. 
In 1898 Mrs. Blum died, and in 1905 Mr. Blum married May Oakes, 
of Crawford county. Pa., daughter of William Oakes, of Conneaut- 
ville. Pa., who kept a tavern and was of old Revolutionary stock. 
Mr. Oakes' wife was born in Pennsylvania, a member of the DePue 
family, also of Revolutionary descent, and died at Conneaut, Ohio. 
John D. Bobenmeyer. He is a son of John and Saloma (Dubbs) 



74 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

4 

Bobenmeyer, both natives of Pennsylvania, where the former was 
born in Berks county and the latter in Lehigh county, the respective 
families having been early founded in the Old Keystone state. John 
Bobenmeyer was a son of John Frederick Bobenmeyer, who was of 
Holland Dutch descent, the original ancestors in America having 
here settled in the colonial days. John Frederick Bobenmeyer was 
but six months old when Indians attacked the home at night and 
massacred all members of the family except John F. and his de- 
voted mother, who fled with him into the forest depths and there re- 
mained in concealment until the Indians departed. The infant child 
thus saved from death by his mother, grew to manhood in the old 
Keystone state, whence he came to Ohio and numbered himself 
among the early settlers of Butler county. Here he first established 
his home and found employment in a distillery where he remained 
a number of years. He then removed to Darke county. John 
Bobenmeyer was a child at the time when the family home was 
established in Butler county, where he was reared under the con- 
ditions and influences that marked the pioneer period and here he de- 
voted his entire active career to agriculture, his old homestead farm 
having been situated on the present Deerfield turnpike, where he 
lived and labored to goodly ends and where he and his wife passed 
the closing years of their lives, secure in the high regard of all who 
Knew him. They became the parents of ten children, all of whom 
attained to maturity: Frances, Susan, Sarah, Henry, John D., 
Maggie, Mary, Elizabeth, Clara, and Charles. Susan became the 
wife of Mitchell Morris; Sarah's first husband was L. D. Norris, and 
after his death she became the wife of William Graham ; Clara be- 
came the wife of Adrian Fox; Maggie married Andrew Schuler; 
Mary became the wife of Charles Rififel ; and Elizabeth wedded 
Charles Smith. John D. Bobenmeyer passed the period of his child- 
hood and youth upon the old family homestead, in Fairfield town- 
ship, where his early educational advantages were those oiifered in 
the common schools of the period. He continued upon his father's 
farm until the time of his marriage, when he established a home of 
his own on the little farm which is his present place of residence 
and which comprises ninety-four and one-half acres, and the build- 
ings and other permanent improvements that mark this property 
were installed by Mr. Bobenmeyer. He has been one of the world's 
workers and has won substantial prosperity through his own well 
ordered efiforts. He has had no vestige of ambition for the activities 
of the political arena, but is found arrayed as a staunch supporter 
of the principles of the Democratic party, and both he and his wife 
are earnest members of the Presbyterian church. The Centennial 
year, 1876, recorded the marriage of Mr. Bobenmeyer to Miss Emma 
Vinneage, who is a native of Fairfield township, as was also her 
father, the late Moore Vinneage, who had the distinction of being 
the first white child born in this township, his entire active career 
having been marked by close association with agricultural industry 
in his native county, his wife, whose maiden name was Nancy H. 
Kirk, having been born in Pennsylvania. Of their ten children 
eight attained to maturity, namely: Rollin, John, William, Mary, 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 75 

Laura, Lawrence, Emma and Nancy. Mr. and Mrs. Bobenmeyer 
have three children: John Harlan, Frank Moore and Emma Ger- 
trude. John H. Bobenmeyer wedded Miss Elizabeth Shepard and 
they have three children: Joseph Glenn, Lillian and Marion. Frank 
M. Bobenmeyer remains with his venerable parents and has active 
charge of the old homestead farm ; he is a bachelor. Emma Gertrude 
is the wife of James Clawson, and they have no children. 

Peter P. Boli. On the roster of Hamilton's able members of the 
profession of law is found the name of Peter P. Boli, who has gained 
distinctive preferment in his chosen calling. In the learned profes- 
sions and particularly in that which pertains to the practice of law, 
advancement depends entirely upon merit, and the intellectual vigor, 
analytical power and argumentative ability of Mr. Boli have gained 
him a leading place among the attorneys of Butler county. Mr. Boli 
belongs to that class of men who gain success in the community of 
their nativity, and is thoroughly, by birth, training and predilection 
a product of Ohio, and of the Miami valley. He was born at Hamil- 
ton, March 31, 1885, a son of Louis A. and Caroline (Buckel) Boli, 
well known and highly-esteemed people of Hamilton, and is a mem- 
ber of one of the city's honored old families. After attending the 
graded and high schools of Hamilton, Mr. Boli entered upon his 
professional studies as a student at the Ohio State university, from 
the law department of which institution he was duly graduated with 
the class of 1908, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Law. He at 
once located at Hamilton, where his probationary period, through 
which practically every young lawyer must go, was passed in the 
ofifice of and in association with W. C. Shepard. Subsequently he 
left Mr. Shepard, and since that time has been engaged in practice 
alone. Possessing the advantages of a collegiate education, hav- 
ing boundless energy and great ambition, with a studious nature 
and a keenly analytical mind, it is not strange that Mr. Boli soon 
won success at the bar. He demonstrated his ability in several well 
conducted litigated interests and from that time has enjoyed a 
liberal clientage. He prepares his cases with great thoroughness 
and care, and never loses sight of an available point that will enhance 
the interests of his clients. His arguments are forceful, clear and 
convincing, and his deductions follow in logical sequence. In his 
political associations, Mr. Boli is a Republican, but prefers the 
triumph of principle to the domination of party, and personally has 
not been an aspirant for public honors, his good citizenship being 
confined to a support of worthy measures designed for the better- 
ment of the community and its people. Fraternally, he is a popular 
member of the local lodges of the Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. 
May 7, 1914, Mr. Boli married Sue, daughter of Isaac Whelan, of 
Hamilton, and they have one daughter: Betty C. 

Llewellyn Bonham. In the career of Llewellyn Bonham, of 
Oxford, two industries, those of agriculture and manufacturing, have 
played an important part. For a number of years he has been 
classed with the substantial and successful farmers of Butler county, 
and as secretary of the Bonham Recorder company has attained a 



76 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

high position in the business world of his community. Mr. Bonham 
was born at St. Louis, Mo., a son of L. N. and Ellen M. (Gere) Bon- 
ham, the former a native of Hamilton county, Ohio, and the latter of 
Massachusetts. In his youth L. N. Bonham followed the vocation 
of teacher, and for many years was principal of a seminary at St. 
Louis, but in 1872 changed his residence to Oxford, Ohio, and for 
fourteen years was secretary of the Ohio State Board of Agricul- 
ture. He was a man of superior educational attainments and a 
graduate of Miami university, of which in his later life he was a 
member of the board of trustees. After his marriage to Ellen M. 
Gere he resided for a time at Dayton, but later moved to St. Louis, 
where their two children, Nellie, deceased, and Llewellyn Bonham 
were born. The parents are both deceased. Llewellyn Bonham 
was educated in private schools and at Michigan Agricultural col- 
lege, Lansing, Mich., after graduation from which, he resided at 
Chicago, III., for two years, being identified with the big packing 
firm of Swift & company. In 1898 he was sent to New York by that 
company as manager of one of its departments, but subsequently 
resigned to take up his profession of civil engineering in connection 
with railroad construction work, in addition to which he did much 
experimental work in mechanics. While engaged in the latter pur- 
suit, he conceived the idea of a trafific recorder, which he patented 
in 1914, this device being an intricate register for recording pas- 
senger trafific. By a simple mechanism it records the number of 
passengers carried between any two stations, the total passenger 
mileage of each trip, the number of cash and ticket passengers, the 
number of passengers carried from one point to another and a sum- 
mary total of all financial and mileage statistics of each trip is re- 
corded in total. By this simple mechanism may be determined 
by railroads, interurbans, etc., the business done each day, month or 
year between points, the comparative traffic of one point and an- 
other, and condenses in a very accurate and concise manner all the 
information needed in the auditing of passenger traffic. At the end 
of each trip the conductor is enabled by releasing the printed report 
to attach his signature, and this report is always accurate and com- 
plete, showing the stations at which passengers boarded trains, 
their respective points of destination and all other facts. This sys- 
tem has been adopted by many of the leading interurban roads of 
the country. Active manufacture of this device was commenced in 
November, 1914, at Hamilton, but when the United States entered 
the war, active production was curtailed because the factory was 
engaged in war work in the manufacture of Liberty motor parts. 
The corporation officers of the Bonham Recorder company are: E. 
E. Dwight, president ; G. Y. Bast, vice-president ; and Llewellyn 
Bonham, secretary. In addition to this large and important busi- 
ness, Mr. Bonham is largely interested in farming, and at the present 
time is the owner of much valuable property, including the farm 
purchased in 1840 in Butler county by his maternal grandfather, 
Isaac Gere. He was married to Frances S., daughter of R. W. Mc- 
Farland, of Oxford, who for a number of years was president of 
Miami university. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 17 

Frank J. Bov. The value of a useful trade and of centering one's 
activities in a given occupation is exemplified in the career of Frank 
J. Bov, proprietor of the Miami Pattern works, at Hamilton, Ohio. 
Concentration and industry have played an important part in Mr. 
Bov's rise from humble circumstances to prosperity, and his career 
is one which should prove encouraging to other youths placed in the 
same position as that which he occupied when he started to make 
his own way in life. Mr. Bov was born at Hamilton, February 17, 
1868, a son of Jacob Bov. His father, a native of Ireland, left that 
country in young manhood and emigrated to America, where he ar- 
rived without capital and with nothing to assist him save his will- 
ingness to work, and his knowledge of the shoemaker's trade. He 
located at Hamilton in 1848 and for some years worked at his trade 
as a journeyman, but his industry and frugal habits enabled him to 
accumulate sufficient capital to invest in a business of his own, and 
for some years he was the proprietor of a shop and shoe store at 
Rossville, where his death occurred in 1868. His widow, who bore 
the maiden name of Magdalene Snyder and was a native of Germany, 
still survives him at the age of eighty-two years, and is a communi- 
cant of St. Stephen's Roman Catholic church. There were five chil- 
dren in the family, three of whom survive, as follows : John, who 
is a carriage painter of Cincinnati, O. ; Mary, the widow of Mike 
Judge, of Hamilton ; and Frank J. Frank J. Bov was still a child 
when his father died, and much of his boyhood was spent in hard 
work, but he nevertheless managed to secure a good common 
school education, attending the classes in Hamilton until he was 
twenty years of age. In the meantime he had remained with his 
mother, and had worked at such honorable employment as presented 
itself, but finally came to the conclusion that a useful trade was a 
valuable asset and accordingly set about to learn pattern making. 
He proved a skilled workman in this direction and had no trouble 
in finding remunerative employment, being connected with a New 
York firm for four years, and working also at Laporte, Ind., Dayton, 
O., and other large cities. In 1901 he returned to Hamilton, where 
he bought the business of Jacob School & Son, and in 1903 moved 
to his present location at No. 110 Monument avenue, where he now 
has a modern plant, finely equipped throughout. The extent of 
his business, which includes the work of all the large Hamilton 
manufacturers and a number from Cincinnati and other nearby 
cities, necessitates the employment of from ten to fifteen skilled 
mechanics. Mr. Bov has demonstrated what a man can accomplish 
by pursuing practical and straightforward methods and by exercis- 
ing always in his associations with his fellow men the qualities of 
integrity, consideration and kindness. The subterfuge of misrepre- 
sentation is strictly tabooed from his plant, and in consequence he 
is thoroughly relied upon and trusted by business men here. That 
honesty and fair dealing combine to form the best policy is demon- 
strated anew in the career of Mr. Bov, for he receives high credit 
in Bradstreet, and exerts a strong influence upon many phases of 
municipal growth. Fraternally, Mr. Bov is affiliated with Father 
Butler Council, No. 968, K. C, and Hamilton Lodge, No. 93, B. & 



78 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

P. O. E. With his family he belongs to St. Peter's Catholic church. 
In 1906 Mr. Bov was married to Miss Clara Becker, of Hamilton, 
and four children have been born to this union : Raphael and 
Thomas, twins ; Frances and Anna. All at home. Mrs. Becker's 
parents are deceased ; her father, Frank J. Becker, was a moulder by 
trade. 

John C. Boyle. In the fertile agricultural regions of the Miami 
valley it is not unusual to find that several generations of a family 
have resided on the same farm, son succeeding father in the owner- 
ship of the property. This is the case in the property now owned 
and operated by John C. Boyle, a capable and highly respected 
agriculturist of Hanover township, whose farm has been in the 
family name for one hundred years and was formerly operated by 
his father and maternal grandfather, eighty acres of which was 
deeded to his maternal grandfather, Enos James, by John Rickey, 
December 12, 1817, for the sum of $560, as was also eighty acres 
deeded by John Sacket to Enos James, March 9, 1830, for $900. 
Mr. Boyle was born on this farm October 5, 1868, a son of John 
Boyle. The latter was born at Cookston, Ireland, November 14, 
1822, and as a young man emigrated to the United States, without 
friends or finances, but with a strong determination to find his 
fortune in the land of his adoption. Locating at Cincinnati, for a 
time he was employed in that city making mill stones, but subse- 
quently moved to near Darrtown, where for a time he was employed 
on the John Moore farm at a wage of $10 per month. He was 
married February 22, 1849, to Martha J. James, born July 6, 1826, 
a daughter of Enos and Martha (Chandler) James, natives of Bucks 
county. Pa., and early settlers of section 22, Hanover township. In 
that section Mr. James had secured land from the United States 
government at an early day, erected a log house thereon, cleared 
and cultivated his land, and made a home thereon, in which he 
resided until his death, January 4, 1899. He was a member of the 
Presbyterian church, as was also Mrs. James. They had five chil- 
dren : James, who went to Carroll county, Ind. ; Jason, who went 
to the same county; Abel, who lived at Bath, Ind. ; Elias, who went 
to Carroll county ; and Martha J., who became Mrs. Boyle. After 
his marriage, John Boyle settled on the James homestead, where 
he continued to be engaged in farming until his death, January 4, 
1899, his wife surviving him until April 4, 1902. They were the 
parents of nine children : Enos James, born December 10, 1850, 
a farmer in Clinton county, Ind., who died January 22, 1918; 
William and Jason, twins, born March 25, 1853, the former of 
whom died July 30, 1853, and the latter also deceased; Henderson, 
born January 24, 1857, a resident of Columbus, Ind. ; Elias, born 
April 18, 1857, a farmer in Hanover township, Butler county; 
Andrew J., born April 9, 1859, died November 10, 1865; George 
W., born June 13, 1861 ; Martha J., born September 3, 1865, married 
Jacob Nehl, of Butler county; and John C. John C. Boyle attended 
the public schools of his native community and grew up on the 
home farm. He was married June 22, 1892, to Dora, daughter of 
John Jacob and Dorothea (Ritteberger) Miller, who were born in 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 79 

Germany and as young people came to the United States and 
settled at Cincinnati, where Mr. Miller followed his trade of cooper 
until his removal to Hamilton. There his death occurred in 
November, 1918, when he had reached the remarkable age of ninety- 
one years, while his widow still survives him and resides at Hamil- 
ton. Mr. Miller fought as a soldier of the Union during the Civil 
war. There were eight children in the Miller family, namely : 
Jacob, Lizzie, Dora, Henry C, George, Susie, Anna and Herman, 
all residents of Hamilton except Mrs. Dora Boyle, and Susie, the 
latter deceased. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Boyle: Clement M., born February 28, 1894, who married Hazel 
Ermston, and farms a part of the home place ; John Lee, bom 
March 12, 1896, who married Alma M. Green, and is a salesman of 
Franklin, Ind., with two children, — Bertha M. and John Lee, jr.; 
Fred H., born April 7, 1898, residing at home ; Martha D., born 
August 3, 1900, a graduate of the Hanover high school, class of 
1918; Bertha, born July 24, 1903, at home; and Charles G., born 
September 26, 1907, also at home. Mr. Boyle has always lived on 
the old home place, where he has one of the fine country homes of 
Butler county. In addition to carrying on a general farming busi- 
ness, he raises pure-bred Polled Hereford cattle, Poland China hogs, 
draft horses and white rock chickens, and his modern methods and 
marked industry are assisting him to make a success of all his 
undertakings. As a citizen he is ranked high among the residents of 
his community, where he has discharged every duty faithfully, 
and for several years has served efificiently as a member of the 
school board. He votes the Democratic ticket, and he and the 
members of his family belong to the Hamilton United Presbyterian 
church. 

Frank Bradley. The late Frank Bradley, who had earned wide- 
spread respect and which he held to the day of his death, had all 
the essential qualities for a useful and successful career; was one of 
the well-to-do agriculturists of Oxford township, Butler county. 
Mr. Bradley was born at Binghamton, N. Y., a son of John and 
Fidelia (Dean) Bradley. The only child of his parents, he accom- 
panied them as a child to Cincinnati and after a few years to 
Bloomington, 111., but subsequently returned to Cincinnati for his 
education, and then settled at Oxford. Here he was married, 
August 25, 1875, to Sarah J., daughter of John and Sarah Jane 
(Pickard) Preston, natives of Yorkshire, England, who were mar- 
ried in that country and on their arrival in the United States settled 
at Cincinnati. In 1867, they located in Butler county, Ohio, on 
the farm on which Mrs. Bradley now makes her home, and here 
the father died in 1872 and the mother in 1894, both being laid to 
rest in Oxford cemetery. They were the parents of six children : 
Sarah Jane, who became Mrs. Bradley; John T. ; Charles W., of 
Oxford ; Mary A., the wife of Joseph Bentley, of Connersville ; Anna 
E., the wife of Al McDonald, of Indianapolis, Ind. ; and George P., 
who resides with Mrs. Bradley. Following their marriage, Mr. and 
Mrs. Bradley lived for a time east of Oxford and then moved to 
Union county, Ind., but after five years settled on the old Preston 



80 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

homestead, where Frank Bradley continued to carry on agricultural 
operations until his death in 1914, and he was laid to rest in Oxford 
cemetery. He was a good citizen and greatly interested in the 
welfare of his community, never cared for public preferment, but 
preferred to devote himself to his home and his farm, where he found 
his chief interest and enjoyment. His widow resides on the old 
home place and is highly esteemed by her numerous friends. With 
her lives her brother, George Preston, a substantial, practical and 
capable farmer, who, with his sister, is a part owner of the farm, 
which he is operating with much success. He is unmarried, and 
a member of Oxford Lodge, No. 67, of the Masonic fraternity, 
and Hamilton chapter. During the recent war, both he and Mrs. 
Bradley were generous contributors to all war activities. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Bradley there were born the following children : Charles, 
who married Anna Kapp and has three children, — Clarence, Donald 
and Roy ; Clara, deceased, who was the wife of William Garden ; 
Mary, who married M. Kellar and has three children, — Wilbur, 
Stanley and Harold ; Frank, deceased ; Sarah, who married Lee 
Ferris and has three children,^ — Floyd, Robert and Maynard ; 
William, who married Grace Smith, lives with his mother and 
assists his uncle in his farming activities ; and Luther, who married 
Edith Woodruff and has one child, — Edna. 

Maria Louisa Brady, who is counted as one of the estimable 
women of Riley township, Butler county, Ohio, is highly regarded, 
not only for her excellent traits of womanhood, but also for the 
kindly interests she manifests in the well-being of her neighbors, 
has been a resident of that section since 1867, is a woman 
of most pleasing personality and endowed with all the 
attributes of the ideal mother and neighbor. She is the widow 
of William Brady, who in his time was one of the most active 
agriculturists in Butler county and was known as a man of unim- 
peachable business integrity. He died February 22, 1916. Mrs. 
Rradv was born in Franklin county, Ind., Bath township, November 
20. 1843, the daughter of Oliver P. and Maria (Flint) Thurston, 
being one of eleven children. Her father was born in Northum- 
oerland county. Pa., and came to Franklin county with his parents in 
1819. They settled on a farm in Bath township, Franklin county, 
where the parents died, the father being killed by a falling tree. 
The mother was born in Baltimore, Md., and was the daughter of 
William and Temperance Flint. Her father died in Norfolk, Va., 
and she came to Butler county from Baltimore with her mother. 
The family, which consisted of mother and six children, settled in 
Bath township. The brother of Mrs. Brady's mother was drafted in 
the War of 1812 and died in Detroit, Mich. The parents of Maria 
Louisa Brady were married in 1825 in Bath township and after their 
marriage settled and resided there until Oliver P. Thurston died in 
1865. In June, 1870, the widow and daughter moved to the present 
homestead, where Mrs. Brady now lives. The eleven children were 
Sarah, John R., Elizabeth, Samuel, William, Dorcas, Joseph, Ben- 
jamin, Maria Louisa, of this sketch, George R. and Oliver P. Of 
these eight grew to maturity. Maria Louisa Brady was educated 




LUKE BRANNON 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 81 

at Mixersville, Ind., and was united in marriage in 1862 to William 
Brady, who was the son of Samuel and Susan (Davis) Brady. The 
father was a native of Union county, Ind., and the mother was born 
in Butler county, Ohio. Samuel Brady came to Riley township 
in 1843 with his parents and settled on the farm on which Mary 
Louisa Brady now lives. There were three other children, Lucretia, 
Verlinda and one who died in infancy. The father's second mar- 
riage was to Martha Barnum and his third marriage to Amanda 
Coverley. It was on August 3, 1867, that Mary Louisa Thurston 
and William Brady were united in marriage and they removed to 
the present homestead the same year. The tract consists of about 
154 acres. To them were born these children: Joseph F., Oliver 
S., and Leola M. Joseph F. married Belle Smith of Franklin county. 
She died in 1887. They had one child, deceased. Joseph married 
a second time to Sarah Teetor and two children resulted from this 
union, Melba W., and Elsie B. Joseph F. died in 1911. Melba 
served in France during the recent war, having enlisted as a ser- 
geant in the Quartermaster's department in 1917. Elsie became the 
wife of Earl Carson, who served in the army at Camp McHenry, 
Baltimore. Oliver S. married Clara Zepp and the couple reside in 
Colorado. They have two children, Louisa Edith and Ellis E. 
Louisa is the wife of Earl Kimber of Yuma county. Col., and they 
are the parents of one child, Verna. Ellis E. and wife reside in 
Hastings, Neb., and have one child. Leola married Melby C. Abbot 
and they reside in Indianapolis and have four children — Leta, Lois, 
Loren and Laura. Leta is the wife of Dr. R. Riffle of Indianapolis 
and they have one child. Lois is the wife of Mr. Leary, of Green- 
field, Ind., and have one son. Loren and Laura are unmarried. 
The family tree of Mrs. Brady is as sturdy and impregnable as 
the gnarled oaks of the forest and it may be truthfully said that 
she might well feel proud of her lineage. She has maintained the 
admirable traits of character of her ancestors and the purity and 
sweetness of her own life have added materially to her mental com- 
placency. Since the passing of her husband Mrs. Brady has traveled 
much, finding time to visit frequently with her children and grand- 
children. 

Alfred S. Bramble, farmer of Union township, was born in Fair- 
field township, Butler county, Ohio, July 5. 1891, son of A. L. and 
Margaret (Beatty) Bramble. 

Luke Brannon, now deceased, was formerly sheriff of Butler 
county, and at the time of his death held the office of county 
commissioner. It is doubtful if any other man in this county 
was more respected than he, for he proved upon many occasions 
that he was utterly fearless in the discharge of his duty, and that 
he was scrupulously upright in all of his official dealing. He was 
born at Hamilton, December 9, 1859, and he died in the city of his 
nativity, December 2, 1918, from pneumonia, at his beautiful home 
on Central avenue and Chestnut street. He was a son of Roger 
Brannon, who, with his wife, was born in County Roscommon, 
Ireland, but came to the United States, and located at Hamilton, 
Ohio, at an early date in its history. Luke Brannon was reared at 



82 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Hamilton, and attended its schools, and his useful life was spent 
in Butler county. Early displaying qualities which fitted him for 
the work of protecting society against the depredations of the crim- 
inal classes, he was elected constable of Hamilton, and held that 
ofifice until 1900, when he was selected by Sheriff Peter Bisdorf as 
has first deputy. The record made by Mr. Brannon as a deputy 
resulted in his election to the office of sheriff, and he assumed the 
duties of that office January 4, 1904, and he was re-elected to that 
same office, and Butler county never had a better or more conscien- 
tious official. Perhaps the most notable event during his tenure 
of office was that of the Oxford riots, occasioned by the endeavor 
of a mob to lynch a man by the name of Spivey. Being notified of 
the gathering of the mob. Sheriff Brannon drove to Oxford, arriving 
just in time to spare the community the disgrace of a lynching, for 
the rope was already around the neck of the prisoner, and over a 
branch of one of the village trees. The dauntless sheriff forced his 
way to the prisoner's side, undeterred by the threats of the mob, 
forced back the ringleaders, and taking the rope from Spivey's neck, 
took him away singlehanded, and lodged him safely in the village 
jail. A little later, the prisoner was removed to Hamilton, where 
he was tried and convicted. Such action on the part of Sheriff 
Brannon showed his regard for his oath of office, and his determina- 
tion to uphold the laws of the county he represented, no matter what 
the personal peril. His coolness and quiet assertion of his right to 
the prisoner had the proper effect on the mob, and probably the 
majority were very grateful to him for saving them from the com- 
mission of a serious crime. During the time he was sheriff, Mr. 
Brannon did not permit any congregation of gamblers and con- 
fidence men either inside or out of the Butler County Fair Grounds, 
and he was very successful in reducing the percentage of crime in 
the territory over which he had jurisdiction. While he was un- 
linching in his enforcement of the law, Mr. Brannon was kind 
and considerate in his treatment of the prisoners commited to his 
care, and won many of them "to adopt a better mode of life. The 
people of Butler county were not willing to resign their claims 
upon Mr. Brannon, and in 1911 he was appointed juvenile officer 
by Judge Warren Gard, but later left this office to run for county 
commissioner, and was elected by a very large majority in 1913, 
giving to the duties of this last named office the same conscientious 
attention which had characterized his former career. From early 
youth Mr. Brannon was allied with the Democratic party, and was 
very active in politics, and a leader locally in his party. He held 
membership in the Elks, Eagles and Red Men. January 6, 1896, 
Mr. Brannon was married to Emma K. Yarick, and they lived to- 
gether happily until her death, March 27, 1901, she having borne 
him two children, namely : Marie, who was born January 2, 1898, 
attended the Hamilton schools and the Notre Dame convent at 
Hamilton, from which she was graduated, marrying, in 1916, 
Clarence Walsh of Hamilton, and they have two children ; and 
Luke B/annon, jr., who was born. December 29, 1899, attended 
St. Stephen's school, and later St. Mary's high school. December 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 83 

29, 1903, Mr. Brannon was married (second) to Miss Catherine 
Hoderlene, of Hamilton, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Brannon had one 
son, Roger, who was born February 19, 1905, and he is now attend- 
ing St. Mary's high school. Mr. Brannon was a consistent member 
of St. Mary's Roman Catholic church of Hamilton, while Mrs. 
Brannon is a member of St. Stephen's. A tender husband, watchful 
father, kindly neighbor, and stainless public official, Mr. Brannon 
will long live in the memory of his fellow citizens, who are still 
benefiting from his official capability, and his alert vigilence in 
maintaining law and order. 

James Aaron Bray, whose connection with the American Roll- 
ing mill at Middletown dates back for a number of years, has become 
widely and favorably known in his community, not only in circles 
where the employees of the great plant congregate, but as a 
fraternalist as well. He is one of his community's self-made men, 
having been thrown upon his own resources at a tender age, and 
the success that he has attained in life is purely the result of 
individual efifort. Mr. Bray was born September 26, 1854, in Finger 
Lane, England, a son of James and Mary Bray. His mother died 
when he was two years of age, and he was reared by his stepmother, 
who, after the death of his father, bound the twelve-year-old lad 
out to learn his trade. He remained in his native land until he 
was seventeen years of age, at which time he decided to seek his 
fortune in America, and accordingly made his way to Quebec, 
Canada, where he arrived July 3, 1871. From that city he went 
to Pittsburg, Pa., and was there employed in various capacities until 
coming to Middletown in 1909. Since that time he has been identified 
with the American Rolling mill, where he is accounted a superior 
workman, accurate and painstaking in the performance of his 
duties and faithful to the interests of his employers. Mr. Bray 
had the following brothers and sisters : George, William and 
Martha, who are deceased ; Moses, a traveling salesman for the 
London Tea company, with headquarters at Wolverhampton, Staf- 
fordshire, England ; Fannie, widow of George Her, Brayville, Ky. ; 
and Anna, deceased. August 5, 1884, Mr. Bray was united in mar- 
riage with Henrietta, daughter of George and Mary (Shives) 
Schwartz, the former of whom was born on a sailing vessel on the 
Atlantic, coming from Germany to the United States, and the latter 
a native of the North of Ireland. To this union there have been 
born three children : Nathaniel Harrison, who married Carrie 
Michael and has one son, James A. Bray, jr., who is a gifted young 
vocalist now appearing in public ; James Morton, who married 
Henrietta Mason, of Pittsburg, Pa., and they have one son, James 
Henry ; and Jennie, the wife of William Randolph Sefton, of Taren- 
tum, Pa. To this union was born one daughter, Elizabeth Jane. The 
entire family is musical, several members being particularly gifted in 
this direction, and as a natural result their home, located on Garfield 
avenue is one at which numerous gatherings are held of a social and 
musical nature. Mr. Bray possesses the sterling qualities of the race 
from which he springs, and has made hosts of friends since coming to 
Middletown. He is particularly prominent among fraternalists, 



84 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

having been a Mason for many years, and during the past six years 
has held high office in the grand lodge of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows. Mrs. Bray is also active in lodge matters and is 
past worthy matron of Prosser chapter, No. 367, O. E. S., and is a 
lady whose generous impulses have won her numerous friendships. 
She and her husband are members of the Presbyterian church. 

David R. Breitenbecher. For a number of years combining 
farming and school teaching and achieving success in both industry 
and profession, David R. Breitenbecher, a very substantial resident 
of Butler county, may justly be numbered with its representative 
men. He is a native of Butler county, Ohio, born near Jacksonboro, 
son of George C. and Catherine (Gingerich) Breitenbecher, who 
had other children, as follows : Ella, Margaret, Anna, Christian, 
William, Christiana, Rudolph, Bertha and Henry. As the name in- 
dicates, the family originated in Germany, but for many years it 
has been American and the father of Mr. Breitenbecher came from 
the city of Cincinnati when he located as a farmer near Seven Mile, 
in Butler county. The large family was comfortably reared and 
David R. with his brothers and sisters had public school advantages, 
at one time being a classmate of Governor James M. Cox. Naturally 
studious, Mr. Breitenbecher early chose a career in the educational 
field, in which he has continued for twenty-nine years, and during 
this time he has taught one year in the Jacksonboro district ; sixteen 
years in the Shiloh school ; four years in the Fall ; four years in the 
Elk Creek and has completed his fourth year in the Kumler school, 
where he is still engaged. He has a teacher's life certificate and is 
well known in educational circles all through this section, his 
success as an instructor justifying the high value placed on his 
ability by his fellow citizens. Not alone, however, is he devoting 
himself to educational problems, for he is operating the old home 
farm of 135 acres, keeping up its old-time reputation for grain and 
stock. In his political views he is a Democrat. He was reared 
in the United Brethren religious body and has always been con- 
scientious in church observances. 

Edward Brelsford. The position occupied by Edward Brels- 
ford among the substantial agriculturists of Butler county is the 
result of long years of honorable dealing and unremitting industry. 
While he has followed other vocations at times, farming has been 
his chief vocation and in it he has found prosperity and the means 
of making a place for himself among the men whose life works have 
not been wasted. Mr. Brelsford was born in his present township, 
that of Wayne, Butler county, Ohio, October 30, 1866, his parents 
being Pierson and Sarah (Anspach) Brelsford. His father was born 
on the same farm, while his mother was a native of the Keystone 
state. On the paternal side he belongs to one of the old families of 
Butler county, which was founded here by his grandparents, who, 
as young married people, came to this locality and secured 160 
acres of unimproved land from the United States Government. 
They won the respect of the community by the industrious manner 
in which they did the preliminary work of clearing and cultivating 
the land, and their many excellencies of mind and heart placed them 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 85 

in the confidence of their fellow-pioneers. They were the parents 
of the following children : Pierson, the father of Edward ; Laura ; 
and William H., who served as a private in an Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry regiment during the Civil war. The Anspach family, 
which originated in this country in Pennsylvania, moved at an 
early date from that state to Indiana, and then came to Ohio, locat- 
ing in Madison township, Butler county, where the maternal grand- 
parents of Edward Brelsford continued to live and to follow agri- 
cultural pursuits during the remainder of long and honorable lives. 
Among their children were two sons, Marion and Michael, who 
served as Union soldiers during the Civil war. Pierson Brelsford 
grew up in Wayne township, and after his marriage settled near 
the village of Jacksonboro, on the old home farm, where the mother 
died after bearing her husband eight children : Samuel, William and 
James, who are deceased ; Edward, of this review ; John H., who 
makes his home on the old place of which he is the owner ; Frank 
M., a member of the board of commissioners of Butler county and a 
prominent and leading business man of Trenton ; and Clara and 
Ida, both of whom are deceased. After the death of the mother of 
these children, Pierson Brelsford moved to Middletown. He was 
united in marriage with Miss Ida Taylor, by whom he had one 
son : Hubert. His second wife also passing away, he married for his 
third wife Miss Anspach, and they spent the balance of their lives at 
Middeltown. Mr. Brelsford was one of the universally esteemed 
men of his day and locality, and at various times was called upon 
by his fellow-citizens to perform public service. In addition to 
acting as township trustee he was township treasurer of Wayne 
township for a period of fourteen years, and his public record was 
an excellent one. Edward Brelsford was given his educational 
training in the public school at Shiloh and immediately after com- 
pleting his education applied himself vigorously to the serious 
business of earning a living. For a time he divided his energies 
between farming and operating a sawmill in his home locality, but 
eventually disposed of his interests and went to Colorado, where 
for five years he was identified with an agricultural venture. Not 
caring for that state, he returned to Ohio and was engaged again 
in running a sawmill and farming, also threshing, and in 1907 bought 
his present farm, the old homestead, where he has since resided. 
He now has 204 acres of land in a good state of cultivation, and his 
farm has been increased in valuation by the erection of a number of 
substantial buildings, including a modern home, and the installment 
of modern facilities, machinery and improvements. He is also 
the owner of forty-three acres in another part of the county, and 
is rightly accounted one of the locality's substantial men. His 
civic interests are centered in all that relates to education, he serving 
most efficiently as school director for eighteen years. He is inter- 
ested in fraternalism to the extent of taking an active interest in the 
lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Masons and 
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, to all of which he 
belongs, and his religious faith is that of the United Brethren 
church. During the war period he showed his patriotism by gener- 



86 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

ously supporting the Red Cross, Liberty Loan and other activities. 
November 15, 1888, Mr. Brelsford married Catherine Jacquart, of 
Greenbush, Preble county, Ohio, and they have five children : 
Clara, who married Charles Walters of Madison township and has 
one child, — Merle ; Rufus, who married Mary Wagner, and has 
two children, — Walter and Clayton ; and Misses Irma and Zelma, 
who reside on the farm with their parents ; and Aletha who is also 
at home. Irma is a graduate of the high school and now holds a 
very important position in an office in the Porter building at Middle- 
town. 

Frank M. Brelsford. Equally as a business man, a public official 
and a thoroughgoing, constructive citizen, Frank M. Brelsford has 
impressed himself upon the people of Trenton, where he is engaged 
in several lines of commercial endeavor and is also acting capably 
in the capacity of county commissioner. Mr. Brelsford was bom 
in Wayne township, Butler county, Ohio, March 21, 1873, a son of 
Pierson and Sarah (Anspach) Brelsford, the former born on the 
Brelsford homestead and the latter in Pennsylvania. The Brelsford 
family was founded in Butler county by the grandparents of Mr. 
Brelsford who, as young people, came here and took up 160 acres of 
land from the United States Government. Their children were : 
Pierson ; Laura ; and William, who served in an Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry Regiment during the Civil war. The Anspachs, originat- 
ing in Pennsylvania, moved therefrom to Indiana, and then trans- 
ferred their place of residence to Madison township, Butler county, 
where they resided for many years until their deaths. Among their 
children were two sons, Marion and Michael, who served as Union 
soldiers during the Civil war. Following their marriage, Pierson 
and Sarah Brelsford settled near Jacksonboro, on an old farm, where 
the mother passed away after having borne her husband eight 
children: Samuel, William and James, who are deceased; Edward, 
a resident of Jacksonboro ; John, who lives on the old home place ; 
Frank M., of this review ; and Clara and Ida, who are deceased. 
After the death of his first wife the father moved to Middletown, 
where he lived the rest of his life and where he was married to 
Ida Taylor, by whom he had one son : Hubert. Mr. Brelsford was 
one of the highly esteemed men of his day and locality, and in 
addition to acting as township trustee was township treasurer for 
a period of fourteen years. Frank M. Brelsford attended the rural 
schools of Wayne township and the high school at Jacksonboro, 
and when he left school settled down to the vocation of farming. 
He was married August 10, 1897, to Anna Pfalzgraf, of Trenton, 
daughter of John Pfalzgraf, and following his marriage removed to 
a farm near Jacksonboro. This he operated for some twenty years 
when he disposed of his interests therein and moved to Trenton, 
here engaging successfully in the butcher business. As time passed 
he became interested in real estate matters, and eventually became 
one of the organizers of the Butler County Real Estate company, 
his partners in this concern being A. L. Skank, Thomas Bell and 
A. K. Augsperger. In addition to being one of the leading and 
successful business men of his city, Mr. Brelsford has taken an 








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T. H. BRELSFORD AND FAMILY 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 87 

active and helpful part in civic afifairs, and has served eight years 
as trustee in his home township. In November, 1918, he was 
elected for his first term as a member of the board of commissioners 
of Butler county, and is capably discharging the duties attending 
such membership. He has the confidence of all who have had 
dealings with him, as a man of integrity, business honor and per- 
sonal probity. During the war period he took an active part in all 
war activities, particularly those of the Red Cross. He is well 
known in fraternal circles, holding membership in the local lodges 
of the Masons, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows. With his family, he belongs to 
the Presbyterian church. Five children have been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Brelsford : Carrie, a graduate of Oxford university, who 
has been a teacher for three years ; Helen, a graduate of the same 
instiution, who has taught in the public schools for one year; May, 
who is engaged in taking a business course ; and Pierson and 
Francis, who are attending the public schools. 

John H. Brelsford. The progressive and enterprising ex- 
ponents of agriculture found in Wayne township include no more 
industrious farmer than John H. Brelsford, the owner of a 200-acre 
tract, and a citizen of standing and public spirit. Mr. Brelsford 
has resided in this community all of his life and has won prosperity 
through his industry and good management, and at the same time 
has attained public confidence and esteem. He was born on the 
old farm which he now owns, in Wayne township, Butler county, 
Ohio, January 25, 1871, a son of Pierson and Sarah (Anspach) Brels- 
ford, the former also born on the old Brelsford place and the latter 
a native of Pennsylvania. The Brelsford family is one of the old 
ones of this locality, having been founded by the grandparents of 
Mr. Brelsford who, as a young married couple, came to Butler 
county and took up 160 acres of land from the United States 
Government. They were highly respected people who worked in- 
dustriously, and who reared the following family to honorable 
lives : Pierson, the father of John H. ; Laura ; and William, who 
served in an Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil 
war. The Anspach family, originating in Pennsylvania, moved 
from that state to Indiana, and then transferred their place of 
residence to Madison township, Butler county, where the maternal 
grandparents of Mr. Brelsford resided for many years and where 
their deaths occurred. Among their children were two sons, Marion 
and Michael, who served as Union soldiers during the war between 
the states. Following their marriage, Pierson and Sarah (Anspach) 
Brelsford settled near Jacksonboro, on the old home farm, where 
the mother passed away after bearing her husband eight children : 
Samuel, William and James, who are deceased ; Edward, a resident 
of Wayne township ; John H., of this review ; Frank M., a member 
of the board of Butler county commissioners and a leading business 
man of Trenton ; and Clara and Ida, both deceased. After the 
death of his first wife Pierson Brelsford moved to Middletown, 
where he married Ida Taylor, by whom he had one son : Hubcvt L. 
Pierson Brelsford was one of the highly esteemed men of hib day 



88 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

and locality, and in addition to acting as township trustee was 
township treasurer for a period of fourteen years. To the public 
school at Shiloh, Ohio, John H. Brelsford is indebted for his edu- 
cational training, and when he laid aside his studies he adopted as 
his life work the vocation of farming, an occupation in which he 
has since been engaged with constantly increasing success. He is 
now the owner of a property approximating 2(X) acres, upon which 
he carries on extensive operations in a progressive and practical 
manner, and through his good management and intelligent use of 
modern facilities, is making his land pay him handsomely for the 
work which he expends upon it. He has always lived on the old 
home place, where his chief interests lie, and public affairs have 
held out no appeal to him save as they have affected his spirit of 
good citizenship. He has supported good movements and is an 
advocate of good roads and other measures fostered by men of 
public spirit and advanced and enlightened views. Mr. Brelsford 
holds membership in the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks, in which he has numerous friends, as he has also 
in the various circles in which he moves, and he is also a thirty- 
second degree Mason. He was married December 19, 1900, to 
Abbie J. Jacquart, of Greenbush, Preble county, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. 
Brelsford are the parents of no children of their own, but out of 
the goodness of their hearts are rearing an adopted son, Edward 
Summers. 

Hiram Brewer, son of George R. and Mary (Dumford) Brewer, 
was born in Brown county, Ohio, March 23, 1887. The parents 
moved to Williamsburg, Ohio, where Hiram was educated in the 
public schools. Upon leaving school, he went west, where he lived 
for many years. Six years ago he returned to Middletown, Ohio, 
and secured employment with the Gardner-Harvey Paper company. 
Here he remained four years, when he took a position with the 
American Rolling Mill company. He enlisted for service in the 
late war and went to France, where he remained one year, six 
months of which were spent in a cook camp at Gondrecourt. He 
received his discharge early in 1919, and returned to Middletown 
to become a fireman at the plant of the American Rolling Mill 
company. Mr. Brewer had seven brothers and sisters : Earl, now 
in Washington; Laura, Mrs. Doyle Malott, of Williamsburg, Ohio; 
Albert, in the west; John, in Adams county, Ohio; Ida, Mrs. James 
Malott, of Hartwell, Ohio; Ellen, Mrs. Sam. Malott, of Williams- 
burg; Arthur, deceased. Mr. Brewer's father served in the Civil 
war as a member of the 89th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry ; 
has parents still live at Williamsburg. Mr. Brewer is a member of 
the order of Moose ; and is liberal in his political views. 

John Brosius. One of the leading agriculturists of his locality, 
it has been the fortune of John Brosius to have realized many of his 
worthy ambitions and through the exercise of good judgment and 
business sagacity to have wrested from his opportunities financial 
and general success. This worthy citizen and highly respected 
farmer of Hanover township, Butler county, was born January 19. 
1861, in Ross township, this county, a son of John Brosius, and 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 89 

a grandson of Daniel Brosius. Daniel Brosius was born October 7, 
1806, in Pennsylvania, and as a young man came to Ross township, 
Butler county, Ohio, where he cleared a tract of land, made a home, 
and was married January 5, 1823, to Rebecca Parks, who was born 
June 24, 1801. They passed the rest of their lives as agriculturists 
in Ross township, where the following children were born to them : 
Elizabeth, born June 15, 1824, married Robert Lewis and died De- 
cember 30, 1904; William, born June 13, 1827, lived in Indiana and 
later in Butler county, Ohio, and died April 8, 1908; James, born 
September 26, 1828, died March 27, 1853 ; John, born July 9, 1830, 
died January 20, 1861 ; Margaret, born February 18, 1832, died 
October 27. 1914; Isabelle, born December 12, 1834, died July 19, 
1914; Daniel, born November 21, 1838, lived with his sisters Mar- 
garet and Isabelle at Millville, and died November 21, 1916; Re- 
becca, born December 17, 1842, married Thomas Flynn, went to 
Indiana, and died March 29, 1881 ; Eliza Ann, born January 16, 
1845, died March 10, 1854; Janet, born July 3, 1848, married Frank 
Gordon, lived in Hanover township, and died September 29, 1888; 
Alice, born April 13, 1850, died July 8, 1851. John Brosius was born 
in Ross township, where he received only an ordinary educational 
training in the public school in the vicinity of his father's farm, on 
which he resided until his marriage to Amanda Timbreman, who 
was born November 6, 1840, in Ross township, and died January 24, 
1894, as a Universalist. John Brosius was always a farmer and was 
a man well known and highly esteemed in his community. The only 
child of his parents to grow to maturity, John Brosius of this 
review received a common school education, and after the death 
of his father he and his widowed mother went to make their home 
with his maternal grandfather, David Timbreman. There he re- 
sided until his marriage, April 5, 1885, to Mary Jane Pocock, who 
was born in Hanover township, on the present Brosius farm, and 
a daughter of Salem and Deziah (Clawson) Pocock. Mr. Pocock 
was born in Liberty township, Butler county, July 19, 1823, and was 
an invalid for seventeen years prior to his death, July 22, 1908, 
while his wife was born April 13, 1834, and died July 24, 1908. He 
was always a farmer and highly respected in his community, voted 
the Democratic ticket, and he and his faithful wife were members 
of the Baptist church. They had three children : Annetta, born 
December 25, 1861, who married John A. Kumler, a retired farmer 
of Dennison, Tex., with three children, — Elizabeth, who married 
Burton Baldwin of Texas, Alvin P., who lives in Colorado, and 
Salem G., a surveyor of western Texas ; Mary Jane, born November 
26, 1834, who became Mrs. Brosius; and Lizzie, born March 31, 
1867, who died at the age of twelve years. Salem Pocock was a 
son of James and Harriet Pocock, who were married August 22, 
1822, the former having been born July 27, 1791, and the latter 
March 28, 1802. Their children were : Salem, born July 14, 1823 ; 
David, born June 28, 1826; William, born October 12, 1826; Joseph, 
born February 9, 1828; Margaret, born October 10, 1829; Martha 
Jane, born February 21, 1831; Reuben, born January 27, 1833; 
Elizabeth, born December 7, 1835; John, born September 6, 1837; 



90 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Martha and Lucy, twins, born September 22, 1839; Daniel, bom 
September 14, 1841 ; and Rachael Ann, born September 5, 1844. 
Deziah (Clawson) Pocock was a daughter of James and Rebecca 
(Vail) Clawson, who were married January 2, 1816, and whose 
children were: John R., who married Ann Bloomfield, January 15, 
1839; Stephen V., who married Rebecca Pocock, February 24, 1841 ; 
Jeptha, who married Susan Dubolt, February 1, 1846; Hezekiah 
Scudder, who married Mary Clawson, December 22, 1853 ; Wilson 
T., who married Harriett Fulkerson, April 12, 1854; William B., 
who married Lydia Ligett, January 4, 1855 ; Rebecca E., who mar- 
ried William Clawson, February 5, 1857; Salem D., who married 
Deziah Clawson, December 25, 1860; Elizabeth, who married 
Charles S. Drake, January 19, 1862. James Clawson married a 
second time, Elizabeth Weaver, August 2, 1870, and for his third 
wife married Mary A. Louthan, October 1, 1871. The deaths of the 
foregoing were: Samuel, July 29, 1828; Asa, August 11, 1829; Louis 
P., April 5, 1844; James R., June 21, 1861 ; Mary, August 10, 1864; 
Rebecca, March 29, 1870; Elizabeth, March 29, 1870; William, De- 
cember 23, 1872 ; James, April 28, 1885 ; Stephen, September 27, 
1891 ; and Jeptha, December 10, 1897. The birth record of the 
foregoing was: Joseph, May 31, 1795; Rebecca, November 12, 1798; 
James R., January 7, 1818; Jeptha, June 3, 1823; Asa, December 
6, 1824; Samuel B., May 7, 1827; Wilson T., January 1, 1832; Mary, 
August 28, 1834; Deziah, April 13, 1837; Elizabeth, January 3, 
1840; and Lewis, March 4, 1843. After their marriage Mr. and 
Mrs. Brosius located on the old place for four years and since then 
have made their home on their present property. They have in all 
237 acres of well-improved land, on which Mr. Brosius carries on 
farming in a manner that shows he is thoroughly conversant with 
modern methods. In addition to conducting a general farming 
business, he has been successful as a raiser of Poland-China hogs. 
In his work he is ably assisted by his only son, Corwin Brosius, who 
was born December 15, 1895, a graduate of the Hamilton high 
school, and a progressive and enterprising young agriculturist who 
has many friends throughout the vicinity of the home farm. He, 
like his father, is a Republican, and the elder man has taken an 
active and intelligent interest in township afifairs for many years, 
although rather as a good citizen and a supporter of worth-while 
and beneficial movements than as a seeker for personal preferment 
at the hands of his party or his fellow-citizens. Mr. and Mrs. 
Brosius and their son are members of the United Brethren church. 
Benjamin Ha5rwood Brown. The skillful and energetic farmer 
of Butler county, especially if possessed of fertile and productive 
land, can always be sure of a substantial return for his labor, but 
many of the enterprising men of this section have not confined 
their attention to general agricultural activities, but have combined 
with farming certain special lines of endeavor. Benjamin Hay- 
wood Brown, the owner of a splendid property in Oxford township, 
is known as a thorough and practical farmer, and is also an authori- 
ty on fruit raising, having for the past twenty years been a judge 
of fruit, vegetables and grain at county and state fairs, and also 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 91 

has the distinction of being the only living charter-member of the 
Oxford Farmers club. Mr. Brown was born in Union county, Ind., 
September 6, 1846, a son of Lewis and Mary Eleanor (Knowlton) 
Brown, natives of Massachusetts, the former born in 1900, the 
latter in 1906. They grew up and were married at Wooster, Mass., 
whence they went to Buffalo, N. Y., and came west to Hamilton, 
Ohio, by boat, then traveling overland to Union county, Ind., where 
they settled in the vicinity of Yankeetown, a community which 
they assisted in building up. Mr. Brown had a saw and grist mill 
in Indiana, as well as land, but in 1848 disposed of his interests 
there and came to Oxford township, and in 1852 bought the land 
on which his son, Benjamin H., now resides, on Brown's road, two 
miles north of Oxford, which road was named in honor of Lewis 
Brown. He had 160 acres of land, on which he set out the trees 
around the buildings, later remodeled the house, and built the 
barn. Mr. Brown was a very progressive man, a firm believer in 
good roads and a supporter of free pikes, and put in the first pike in 
his neighborhood. He died on this place at an advanced age, in the 
faith of the Presbyterian church, to which belonged also his wife, 
who passed away at the age of sixty-five years. They were the 
parents of these children : Henry, Waldo, Ed, Emma, Myra and 
Benjamin H. Henry Brown of this family was a teacher at Hamil- 
ton for ten years and principal of the public school at Oxford. In 
1864 he enlisted in the 100-day service and after the close of the 
Civil war went to Lane seminary and graduated. After thirty 
years of preaching in Wisconsin he went to Kansas City, where his 
death occurred in 1897. He married Mary, a daughter of Prof. 
William Ballentine, of Lane seminary. Waldo Brown was also 
a teacher for many years, later became agricultural editor of the 
Cincinnati Enquirer, was on the staiif of the Ohio Farmer for ten 
years, and was state lecturer of farmers' institutes in every county 
of Ohio, for a period of thirty years. He was first married to Hyla 
Sample and after her death to Miss Laura Cross. He was also in 
the 100-day service during the Civil war, and died in 1906. Ed, who 
was a carpenter by trade, enlisted in the Union army in 1861 and 
served three years during the Civil war in West Virginia and Mis- 
souri, subsequently being with General Sherman in his famous 
march to the sea. In 1870 he went to Kansas and secured a farm, 
which he sold and went to California, settling in Sawtelle, where 
he now resides. He married Hattie Ross. Emma married Ezra 
Peabody and in 1874 went to Indiana, where her husband was in 
the drug business, from where they moved to Minneapolis, Minn., 
in 1888. He died in 1916. Myra, who was unmarried, died in 1918 
in Oxford township. Benjamin Haywood Brown was educated in 
the Oxford schools and Miami university, from which latter he was 
graduated in 1868. He then taught school for a time, but eventual- 
ly settled down to farming and raising fruit of all kinds. He also 
raises Polled Durham cattle and Shropshire sheep. As noted before, 
for the past two decades his services have been much in demand 
as a judge of fruits, vegetables and grain at state and county fairs. 
He became a charter member at the organization of the Oxford 



92 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Farmers club, at Oxford, of which city he was a resident for eight 
years, and still belongs to this organization, which is limited to 
a membership of twelve persons, meeting at the homes of the 
different members. He has always taken a great deal of interest in 
this club, of which he is the sole living charter member, as he was 
also in all movements for the betterment of the community and the 
county. Like his father, he has been a progressive man, and he 
and his brother Waldo fathered the movement which built the first 
telephone line out of Oxford. A devout member of the Presby- 
terian church, he was superintendent of the Sunday school for over 
ten years. Although a stalwart Republican in his political views, 
he has never been an office seeker. Mr. Brown was married in 
1871 to Mary Sawyer, of Cincinnati, a daughter of Milo Sawyer, 
of Virginia, an early settler of Cincinnati and a carriage maker by 
trade, who went to Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1874, and died there 
in 1875. Mrs. Brown died in 1875, leaving two children. Fannie, 
the elder, is a graduate of Oxford Female college and the wife of 
Joseph Cramer, a banker and druggist of Covington, Ohio. They 
have one son, Hugh. Harry, the younger of the two children of 
Benjamin H. and Mary (Sawyer) Brown, is a graduate of Miami 
university and a farmer of Oxford township. He married Eva 
Brinkman, a teacher in the Cincinnati public schools, and they 
have one son, Harold. Benjamin H. Brown married for his second 
wife Virginia C. Dare, of Cincinnati, Ohio, with whom he was 
united in 1882. She is a daughter of Clement Dare, who was 
chief engineer of Cincinnati for many years, for some time a railroad 
man, and later a farmer in Oxford township, where he died in 1882. 
His widow was Rebecca, who died in 1913. Mr. Brown has four 
sons by his second union. Ralph Dare, who after graduating from 
Miami university, took a course at Columbus in engineering, and 
then taught school for two years. He was with the Baltimore & 
Ohio railroad for two years as a civil engineer, but for the past 
ten years has been with the O'Gara Coal company, of Illinois. He 
married Ruth Hines, of Harrisburg, 111., and they have two sons, — 
Ralph Dare, jr., and Robert Roy. Clifford Knowlton, the next 
son of Benjamin H. Brown, graduated from Miami university, fol- 
lowing which he took a course in school work at the Springfield 
(Mass.) Y. M. C. A. He was located at Cincinnati for two years, 
in the State University of New York three years, and at Columbia 
university for a like period, and is now state secretary of the Y. 
M. C. A. at Columbus, Ohio. He married Marion McAllister of 
Watertown, N. Y., and they have one son, Knowlton. Roy Brown, 
the next son, met a tragic death, when twenty-one years of age, 
being killed by a railroad train. The youngest son, Raymond T., 
attended Miami university, and is now associated in farming with 
his father, is single, and resides at home. 

Henry Brown, the proprietor of a popular and successful 
grocery at Venice, where he was formerly engaged in the hardware 
trade, was born in Ross township, Butler county, Ohio, December 
25, 1870, a son of James and Amanda (Hungerford) Brown, and a 
grandson of Daniel Brown, of the same township, and Richard 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 93 

Hungerford, of Indiana. The parents of Mr. Brown passed their 
entire existences as tillers of the soil in Ross township, and there 
passed away with the respect of the people of their community after 
long, useful and God-fearing lives. They were the parents of the 
following children : Richard ; Albridge ; Daniel ; William ; Henry, of 
this review ; Sarah, who married John Butterfield ; Mildred, de- 
ceased, who married J. R. Bevis ; Rhoda, who became the second 
wife of J. R. Bevis; and Elizabeth, who married R. L. Cone. The 
boyhood and youth of Henry Brown were passed in farming and 
attending the public schools, and the former constituted his chief 
occupation until 1904, in which year he embarked in business at 
Venice as the proprietor of a hardware store. For a time he devoted 
himself exclusively to the handling of light, shelf and heavy hard- 
ware, paints, oils, glass, etc., but later added a grocery line to his 
stock. This venture turned out so satisfactorily that eventually he 
gave up his hardware business and now devotes himself entirely 
to his grocery line, in which he has built up an excellent trade. One 
of his specialties is the handling of the Kroger products, of which 
he is the distributor in his community. Mr. Brown is a Democrat 
in his political tendencies. He is a past master of the local Masonic 
lodge and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His 
support of all war activities was loyal and reflective of his worth as 
a public-spirited citizen. Mr. Brown was married in 1905 to Ida, 
daughter of Rile and Rilly Burke, of Ross township, and to this 
union there has been born one child : Helen, a graduate of the Venice 
High school and of business college. After the death of his first 
wife, Mr. Brown married a sister of hers, Mildred Burke. John 
Burke, a brother of Mrs. Brown, fought as a volunteer soldier in 
the American Army during the war with the Philippines and saw 
active service on those islands. 

Howard Brown. Through unceasing labor and persistent ap- 
plication, Howard Brown has won his way to a position of com- 
fortable independence in his community and to a place in the respect 
and confidence of his fellow-citizens at Middletown, where he is 
now employed as a roller in the plant of the American Rolling Mill 
company. Mr. Brown was born in Indiana, across the state line 
about ten miles from College Corner, Ohio, August 19. 1884, a son 
of William H. and Sarah (Brauchla) Brown, the former of whom is 
still living. Sarah Elizabeth Brown, wife of Wm. H. Brown and 
eldest daughter of George and Susan Brauchla, was born Sep- 
tember 1, 1857, and died July 10, 1892, aged thirty-four years, ten 
months and nine days. She was united in marriage to Wm. H. Brown 
March 6, 1882. To this union were born two sons and one daugh- 
ter. With these she leaves father, mother, four brothers and one 
sister to mourn her departure. Her death occurred at her home near 
Fairhaven, Ohio. She was a loving wife, a kind Christian mother 
and though it is hard to give her up, we find comfort in the words : 
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." She united with the 
church and was baptized under the labors of Rev. Elliot Evans in 
the eighteenth year of her age and during this time grew in respect 
and esteem with those who knew her best. She often talked of 



94 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

death to her husband and mother and often repeated the words, 
"Lord have mercy on me." On the day of her death she said: 
"Mother, I'll die, I'll die." Her mother said, "If you are only pre- 
pared to die." "Oh ! Mother, I am, I am !" Rev. Jones delivered 
an eloquent tribute to her noble life from the following beautiful 
text, found in the twenty-fifth verse of the eleventh chapter of St. 
John : "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life ; 
He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he 
live." His brother, George, married Hattie Sims, and is en- 
gaged in the dairy business ; and his sister, Lucy, is the wife 
of John Busseer, superintendent of the city water works of 
Middletown. Mr. Brown received a common school education and 
then went to work in a mill in his home community, following which 
for some years he was employed in various communities. About 
1905 he came to Middletown, where he became identified with the 
American Rolling mill, and has since become one of his company's 
valued and trusted employees. For the past several years he has 
acted in the capacity of a roller, and has evidenced the possession of 
abilities which make him a reliable and expert cog in the machinery 
which operates the mill. Mr. Brown was married April 29, 1904, to 
Catherine, daughter of Isaac and Mary (Healy) Byron, whose other 
children are: Thomas; Nellie, who is now Mrs. Chris Pollis, of 
Middletown ; and Ada, the wife of Edward Castel, of Indiana. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Brown there have been born three children : Margaret 
May, Melva Marie and Howard William. Mr. Brown is a Democrat 
in his political adherence, but has never sought public office. He 
belongs to the fraternal order of Eagles, and he and Mrs. Brown are 
consistent and generous members of the Christian church. Mr. 
Brown is a man of fine appearance and presence and afifable manner, 
and is extremely popular with a wide circle of friends. His home, 
erected in 1912, at 924 Wilson street, bears eloquent testimony to 
the taste and refinement of Mr. and Mrs. Brown and those practical 
traits of character and thrift which avoid the superfluous and ornate. 
Milton B. Brown. The monotony which often ensues from the 
continuous following of a certain line of work has never been a fea- 
ture of the career of Milton B. Brown. Gifted with diversified 
talents this industrious citizen of College Corner has followed the 
vocations of farmer and grocer, and in both capacities has attained 
a due measure of success. At the present time he is the owner of a 
thriving grocery, and at the same time is taking an active part in 
civic affairs, at various times having ably and conscientiously dis- 
charged the duties pertaining to various offices within the gift of 
his fellow-citizens. Mr. Brown was born in Clermont county, Ohio, 
September 12, 1860, a son of William and Anna (Shannon) Brown. 
William Brown was born in New Jersey and as a young man moved 
to Brown county, Ohio, where he met and married Miss Shannon, 
who was a native of Virginia. Following their marriage they set- 
tled near Batavia in Clermont county, but eventually the father 
located in Preble county, where he completed his career as a farmer 
near College Corner, and there died in 1887, Mrs. Brown having 
died in Clermont county when her son Milton was eight years old. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 95 

There were four children in the family : Samuel M., of Butler county ; 
Sarah (Brown) Warner, of Panora, Iowa, who died at the age of 
thirty-eight years ; Milton B. ; and Mrs. L. A. Pentecost, of Cicero, 
Ind. Milton B. Brown was educated in the public schools and 
as a youth began farming, a vocation which he carried on for some 
years. Later he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, as a 
clerk in the store of H. L. Bake & Son, and in 1914 embarked in the 
grocery business on his own account and has continued therein to 
the present time. He carries a large and well-selected stock of 
staple and fancy groceries and enjoys an excellent trade, which has 
been built up through his industry, courtesy and fair dealing. He has 
made numerous friends among his customers and has established a 
reputation for integrity in his business operations, so that his stand- 
ing is high in commercial circles. As a good citizen with the in- 
terests of his community at heart, Mr. Brown has identified himself 
with public affairs, and has served efficiently as a member of the 
town council, as town clerk and as president of the board of educa- 
tion, on which board he served for fourteen years. He has always 
supported beneficial movements and is accounted an influential and 
helpful resident of his locality. He married Jessie Graham, of 
Hopewell, Ohio, and they have an adopted child, Sarah Dales, a 
niece of Mr. Brown. The family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal 
church. 

Orin Brown. One of the oldest native-born residents of Ross 
township, Butler county, is Orin Brown, whose entire life has been 
passed on the property which he now occupies. Here he was born 
and here he has labored, and while for some years ill health has in- 
capacitated him from active labor, he still makes his influence felt 
in the farm's management and operation and continues to occupy a 
place as one of his township's prominent and highly esteemed citi- 
zens. Mr. Brown was born February 27, 1836, a son of Daniel and 
Catherine (Harshey) (Smith) Brown, the former a native of Berke- 
ley county, W. Va., and the latter of Pennsylvania. The eldest child 
by his father's second marriage, he secured his educational training 
in the public school at College Hill, and when he was ready to enter 
upon an independent career it was upon the property that has always 
been his home. He was married April 7, 1874, to Caroline Stephan, 
daughter of Helena and Charles Stephan, a sketch of whose career 
will be found elsewhere in this work in the review of Charles 
Stephan, brother of Mrs. Brown. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. 
Brown settled down to housekeeping in their present home, which 
was remodeled in 1917, and which is now one of the most beautiful 
in this section of the county. The home property of 150 acres is 
worked on shares, under the supervision of Mr. Brown, who despite 
his advanced years and the poor state of his health, still retains the 
excellent business judgment that assisted him to success in the days 
of his active labor. He is a Democrat in politics and continues to 
take an interest in township afifairs, and to lend his assistance and 
influence to measures which promise to benefit his community. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Brown there have been born the following chil- 
dren : Helen, the wife of Dr. O. J. Smith of Venice ; Agnes, who has 



96 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

remained with the home folks; Lulu, who has been teaching school 
at Venice for a number of years ; Florence, who also taught school 
and is now the wife of Paul Weissinger of Fairfield township ; Ora, 
who taught school four years in Ross township ; and Carol, the 
widow of Dr. F. I. Hage. There are two grandchildren, Paul and 
Bernadine Smith. 

Philip Brown, High upon the list of the well-to-do self-made 
men of Butler county who, from small beginnings have advanced 
themselves to positions of independence and recognized prestige in 
their communities, stands the name of Philip Brown. When he en- 
tered upon his career, Mr. Brown was possessed of no advantages 
save those to be found in connection with his earnest ambition, his 
determination to succeed and his willingness and ability to do well 
whatever he undertook, but these qualities have proven sufficient to 
gain him success in his chosen vocation of agriculture and to make 
him one of the substantial men of Hanover township. Mr. Brown 
was born in Germany and was a small child when brought to the 
United States by his father, George Brown, his mother having died 
in Cincinnati. He was given only such educational advantages as 
he could secure through irregular attendance at the public school, 
and for the most part his education came from the school of hard 
work and experience, but he was an ambitious youth who made the 
most of his opportunities and assimilated whatever knowledge came 
his way, so that he grew up with an education that served his pur- 
pose. For a time he worked at various occupations at Port Royal 
and in Indiana, and then located at Glendale, Ohio, where he was 
married in 1873 to Anna, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christian 
Pepper, her father being a stone mason and highly respected citizen 
of that community. Following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Brown 
settled down to farming in the vicinity of Glendale, where they made 
their home for about a quarter of a century, working industriously 
and conserving a goodly share of their earnings. In 1900 they 
changed their residence to Hanover township, Butler county, where 
Mr. Brown bought a farm of fifty acres, and here he has since con- 
tinued to carry on his operations, in a progressive, modern manner. 
From time to time he has added to the improvements on his prop- 
erty, which now presents a prosperous appearance, and his build- 
ings are in an excellent state of repair and his equipment modern 
and effective. His farm has proved of sufficient interest to him so 
that he has not entered into other lines of business, nor has he cared 
for the doubtful honors of public life or office holding, although he 
takes an interest in enterprises which have been promulgated for 
the betterment of the community, and is a staunch supporter of the 
principles of the Republican party. During the period that he and 
Mrs. Brown have resided in Butler county, they have formed nu- 
merous lasting friendships, and the manner in which Mr. Brown 
has carried on his transactions has served to gain him the reputa- 
tion of being a man of sound principle and good business ethics. 
During the war period he was a generous supporter of all worthy 
causes. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are the parents of four children : Clara, 
who was first married to Frank Luegens, by whom she had two chil- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 97 

dren, Luella and Gertrude, and after his death married David Oyler, 
a farmer of Hanover township, and they have one child, Evelyn Ann ; 
Frank, a farmer w^ho is operating in Hanover township, married 
Mary Conrad, and has three children, John, Clarence and Philip; 
Wilhelmina, who married John Stumpf, a farmer of Hanover town- 
ship, and has six children, John, Carl, Clara C, Robert P., Earl and 
Elizabeth A. ; William, lives in Hamilton and has nine children as 
follows : Eleanor, Walter, Helen, John, Mabel Luella, Hazel, de- 
ceased; Frank and Lloyd. All the children were given good educa- 
tional advantages and reared to lives of industry and honesty so that 
they have been credits to their communities and to the worthy name 
which they bear. 

Isaiah Bryant, implement dealer of Oxford, Ohio, was born in 
Oxford township. He is a son of James C. and Nancy A. (Little) 
Bryant. He received his education in the local common schools, 
and after finishing his courses, turned to farming, which he enjoyed 
and of which he made a success. In the year 1904, he entered the 
business of selling farm implements, and at the time was also en- 
gaged in stock raising, his particular work lying in the field of rais- 
ing purebred Poland China hogs. In this he was active with W. B. 
Wallace. In the implement business, he carries the finest line of 
merchandise, including the International Harvester company's, the 
John Deere company's, and the Oliver Plow company's products. 
His business has expanded greatly in the past few years, and the 
store is famous as an institution of that type of trade in this entire 
section. In 1884 he was married to Anna D. Ringwood, daughter 
of George and Frances (Martindale) Ringwood of Oxford township. 
A brother, Eugene, of Mr. Bryant's wife, married Stella Piper, of 
Oxford township. To Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have been born the 
following children : Howard R., who married Clara Ault, and is in 
business in Oxford ; Bertha B., who was married to Leonard Osborn, 
now living in Indianapolis ; Delia C, who married Jack Stevenson, 
now in Indianapolis ; Estella, who became the wife of Ed Kealing, 
now living in Indianapolis ; George, who is in business with his 
father, and who recently returned from service in the World war, 
in which service he ranked a corporal. He was discharged honorably 
from the army April 4, 1919. Mr. Bryant is a member of the Knights 
of Pythias. In politics he is a Democrat. In war work he was es- 
pecially active, accomplishing signally splendid patriotic work. 

James A. Bryant. In the selection of Mr. James A. Bryant for 
township school trustee not only was enviable testimonial given of 
the high esteem in which he is held by the community as a citizen, 
but his well known executive ability and keen business judgment 
was taken into consideration. Those who know him best assert 
that from the beginning of his term as school trustee Mr. Bryant 
manifested a keen solicitude for the welfare of the school children 
and has given every evidence that he is the right man in the right 
place. The fact that he was born in Butler county, having first seen 
the light of day in the old homestead on the Thomas farm in Milford 
township, July 3, 1853, may to a degree reveal the reason why he 
manifests such concern in bettering school conditions in this county. 



98 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Incidentally, it might be stated that both his parents and grand- 
parents on both sides were born in Butler county, which is a dis- 
tinction of which one might well feel proud. He attended school at 
Oakland and later was a student at the university at Oxford one and 
one-half years. After leaving the university he engaged in farming 
and has proved a decided success in this field of endeavor. His 
training at the university was such that he made good use of it in 
getting the most out of his land. In addition to his school work and 
farming he manifests much interest in fraternal and social affairs of 
the community. He is a Mason and is a Democrat in politics. Also 
it might be stated that he was one of the most energetic workers of 
Oxford township in the World war activities. His parents, James 
C. and Nancy (Little) Bryant, are among the oldest and most highly 
respected people of the county. They were the parents of six chil- 
dren, four of whom grew to maturity : James A. ; John, who died in 
infancy; Daniel, Mirandy, and Isaiah. The parents of James C. 
Bryant and wife, deceased, were also old settlers of Butler county, 
and were buried in Oxford cemetery. The grandfather of James A. 
Bryant erected the first grist mill in Oxford township and also was 
a pioneer cloth weaver. Considering the fact that Mr. Bryant, who 
married Miss A. A. Flinn, daughter of Milton and Margaret Flinn of 
Butler county, is the father of two children, Florence and James, 
both married, it is likely that the name of Bryant will be perpetuated 
in Butler county in a material way. Miss Florence married Clayton 
Miller and James married Inez Cramer, the latter couple having two 
children. 

William Truman Buehl. An employee of the American Rolling 
mills for the past sixteen years and one who has "made good" in 
whatever position he has been placed, William Truman Buehl is 
representative of the best type of artisans produced by Middletown, 
for he is essentially a product of this thriving city of the Miami val- 
ley. He was born here August 29, 1882, a son of William and Emma 
(Rue) Buehl, and a grandson of William and Rebecca Jane (Sawyer) 
Buehl of Trenton, Ohio, and William and Harriet (Cortwright) 
Rue, of near Hamilton, Ohio. At the time that his father died, 
March 28, 1900, Mr. Buehl was but eighteen years of age, but never- 
theless accepted the duties devolving upon his shoulders as the head 
of the family, and ably assisted in the rearing of the younger chil- 
dren, a brother, Clayton, and two sisters, May, who is now Mrs. W. 
J. White, of Middletown, and Edna, now Mrs. Elmer Gravenstein, 
of Dayton. William Truman Buehl received his education in the 
public schols of Middletown, and as before noted was called upon 
at an early age to assist in the family support. He was ambitious, 
industrious and enterprising, and accepted such opportunities as 
presented themselves for the accumulation of an income, and was 
variously employed until 1903, when he entered the employ of the 
American Rolling mills, with which concern he has been identified 
ever since. His advancement with this concern has been consistent 
and steady, as his industry and fidelity have been rewarded from time 
to time, and he now occupies a position of some importance. He is 
a general favorite at the plant, both with his superiors and those 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 99 

under his charge, and is accounted a skilled, reliable and conscien- 
tious workman, who takes a pride in his labor and who faithfully 
discharges his duties. Mr. Buehl was married February 21, 1906, 
to Miss Myrtle Mount, of Middletown, daughter of Edward and 
Mary (Ingle) Mount, she having been born at Middletown, Feb- 
ruary 27, 1886. Mrs. Buehl's great-grandfather was Thomas 
Gregory, who was born at Dublin, Ireland, in 1805, and died in 1881. 
Her maternal grandparents were of English birth, and owned a large 
lace factory at Shianigham. After the death of her mother, which 
occurred June 17, 1898, Mrs. Buehl became a "little mother" to her 
brother and sisters, and took charge of the housekeeping duties in 
her father's home, over which she presided until her marriage. She 
has a sister, Bessie, who is now Mrs. Clinton Julian ; and a brother, 
Homer, who married Miss Florence Zartman, the accomplished 
daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Pressley Zartman of Dayton ; and an- 
other sister, Huldah, died February 28, 1913. Mr. and Mrs. Buehl 
are the parents of two children ; Paul and Mary, who are exception- 
ally gifted in music and have displayed their talents before large 
audiences in public on a number of occasions. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Buehl have numerous friends at Middletown, Mr. Buehl being liked 
for his genial personality, while Mrs. Buehl is admired for her 
splendid mind, as well as being an ideal mother. They have a pleas- 
ant and attractive home on Harrison avenue, where their friends 
are always made welcome. In his political views, Mr. Buehl is not 
inclined to be bound down by party ties, basing his beliefs on prin- 
ciple and casting his ballot according to these views. He and Mrs. 
Buehl are consistent members of the United Brethren church, in 
which Mrs. Buehl is the teacher of a class in the Sunday school. 

H. L. Burdsall, M. D., of Lindenwald, Hamilton, Ohio, is a 
physician of pronounced character, whether considered from the 
standpoint of his professional attainments or from the viewpoint of 
progressive citizenship. He has been engaged in the practice of his 
calling at this place for fifteen years, and the various honors which 
have come to him are substantial tributes to his standing as a man 
and in his profession. Doctor Burdsall was born at Williamsburg, 
Ohio, in 1878, a son of Rev. John and Martha Burdsall. He received 
his early education in the country schools and after his graduation 
from the Williamsburg High school, in the class of 1897, became a 
school teacher in Clermont county, where for four years he was en- 
gaged in instructing the youthful mind in country districts. Next, 
Mr. Burdsall attended Valparaiso university, and then began the 
prosecution of his medical studies at The Ohio Medical college, at 
Cincinnati, where he received the degree of M. D. in 1905, the year 
which he commenced practice at Lindenwald. There is no profes- 
sion in which the admonition to "make haste slowly" can be more 
advantageously followed than in that of medicine. However great 
their native talents, the unformed fledglings do not reach the heights, 
but those whose education and training have enabled them to survey 
a broad field of knowledge before they fairly entered the activities 
of their career. In these days a thorough and broad education is 
largely taking the place of the long, and ofttimes wearing experi- 



100 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

ence, which in the earlier periods was considered essential to hon- 
orable elevation in any of the professions or walks of life. Doctor 
Burdsall is a typical, modern physician, who has laid a broad founda- 
tion for continuous personal development and professional progress. 
Since he has located at Lindenwald he has engaged in progressive 
professional work, his practice being general in character, and has 
won a place in the ranks of his calling which is a full justification of 
his faithful and careful preparation for his professional career. He 
has held all offices in the Butler County Medical society, of which 
he is still a member as he is also of the Ohio State Medical society, 
the Union District Medical society and the American Medical asso- 
ciation. He is also a member of the Odd Fellows, and an independ- 
ent voter, but takes only that interest in political matters that is 
displayed by every good and public-spirited citizen. In October, 
1918, he was commissioned a captain in the United States Medical 
Corps, and rendered three months of service at Camp Greenleaf, 
Fort Oglethorpe. Doctor Burdsall married Miss Myrtle Conner, of 
Williamsburg, Ohio, and they have one daughter : Marjorie. The 
Doctor and his family reside in a beautiful home at Lindenwald. 

John F. Burer is claimed by Fairfield township, Butler county, 
as one of its progressive farmers and loyal and public-spirited citi- 
zens, and he is a scion of one of the old and honored families of the 
beautiful Miami valley, as may be seen by reference to the family 
data appearing on other pages, in the sketch of the career of his 
brother William, who likewise is a resident of Fairfield township. 
John F. Burer was born at Reading, Hamilton county, Ohio, No- 
vember 10, 1877, and in the public schools of the locality he gained 
his early education, which included the discipline of the high school 
at Shandon. After his school days he continued to be associated 
with his father in farm enterprise until he was duly fortified for the 
initiating of independent operations. Shortly after his marriage he 
and his wife established their residence on their present farm, which 
comprises 205 acres and which is familiarly known as the old Ding- 
felder farm, the original homestead being occupied by Mr. and Mrs. 
Burer and the same being one of the attractive rural houses of Fair- 
field township. In his vigorous activities along the lines of diversi- 
fied agriculture and stock growing Mr. Burer is meeting with une- 
quivocal success, and his energy and good judgment are in conso- 
nance with his progressive policies. During the progress of the 
great World war he gave loyal support to all agencies and move- 
ments through which the government applied for such civic co- 
operation, and the same loyalty characterizes his attitude as a pub- 
lic-spirited citizen. His political convictions place him in the ranks 
of the Democratic party. Mr. Burer is a communicant of St. Mary's 
Catholic church at Hamilton, while his wife worships with the 
Bethel church. In the year 1909, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Burer to Miss Catherine HofTman, daughter of George and 
Laura (Dingfelder) Hoffman, whose farm home was in the same 
neighborhood as the old Dingfelder place now occupied, and owned 
in part, by the subject of this review. Of the three children of Mr. 
and Mrs. Hoffman Mrs. Burer was the second in order of birth; 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 101 

Clara, che eldest, is the widow of Daniel Hayes, and Mary is the 
wife of Dr. Glenn Rothenbush, of Cincinnati. Mr. and Mrs. Burer 
have two children, George and Robert, aged respectively eight and 
two years, in 1919. 

William C. Burer, a successful farmer of Fairfield township, 
Butler county, Ohio, was born in New Baltimore, Colerain township, 
Hamilton county, Ohio, on March 15, 1885. He was the son of 
John N. and Christine (Hoflfman) Burer, the former of whom was 
born in Baden, Germany, and the latter in Linwood, Hamilton 
county, Ohio. John N. Burer came to this country at the age of 
fifteen and settled in Virginia, living there three years, then moving 
to Cincinnati, thence to Butler county where he engaged in farming. 
After his marriage, he and his wife settled in Hamilton county, and 
about thirty-five years ago came to Butler county, Fairfield town- 
ship, where he now lives. Twelve children were born to them and 
grew to maturity: Mary, Mrs. William Hann ; Anna; Joseph, mar- 
ried Jessie Duncan ; John, married Catherine Hofifman ; Rosa, Mrs. 
Jacob Smith; Bertha, Mrs. John Walther; William, the subject of 
this review; Helen, Mrs. Wolfgang J. Besler; Genevieve, Mrs. Bert 
Dinsler; Martha, Mrs. Joseph Jones; Lawrence, deceased; Mark; 
and Paul, married Julia Wahl. Paul served in the regular army 
three years and three months, was in France with the United States 
Infantry, and went over the top seven times. Our subject was edu- 
cated at Shandon and Stockton, and was married November 6, 1907, 
to Lucy Beiser, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Druck) Beiser, of 
Hanover township, both of whom are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. 
Beiser had eight children: Jacob, married Ida Zilrox; Charles, mar- 
ried Emma Stumpf ; Valentine ; William, married Grace Hawthorn ; 
Mary, married John Stahlheber; Minnie, married William Simes ; 
Lucy, married William C. Burer; and Edna, married Claude King. 
After their marriage, our subject and wife lived in Fairfield town- 
ship, coming to their present home in 1917, a place of one hundred 
and two acres, part of the Bramble farm. They have five children : 
Catherine, William, Raymond, Charles, and Mary Rose. Mr. Burer 
and his family are members of the Catholic church. He took a large 
part in all war activities, Red cross drives, and movements of Na- 
tional interest. 

August W. Burkhardt. The representatives of the agricultural 
industry in Butler county, classified by their efficiency, industry and 
progressiveness, measure up in their standards to an equal position 
with the farmers of any section of the Miami valley. Among them 
there are leaders, who, in their work and their citizenship, are en- 
titled to more than passing mention, and among these is found 
August W. Burkhardt, of Hanover township, the owner of what is 
known as the old Smiley place, of 209 acres. Mr. Burkhardt was born 
on a farm in Lemon township, Butler county, Ohio, near the town 
of Monroe, January 8, 1865, being a son of Mathias and Kate (Lutz) 
Burkhardt. The parents were natives of Germany, but were single 
when they emigrated to the United States, meeting and being mar- 
ried at Hamilton, Ohio. After their union they removed to a farm 
in Lemon township, where they resided for several years, then going 



102 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

to Lesourdsville, where they Hved nineteen years. Eventually they 
located at their present home, in St. Clair township, this county, 
where they are living in comfortable circumstances, as a reward for 
their long years of faithful and industrious agricultural work. They 
are the parents of the following children : August W. ; Christian, 
and Edward, who reside with their parents ; Louisa, the wife of 
George Brotzman, of Hamilton ; Catherine, the wife of William 
Phillips ; Ernest and Fred, residing with their parents ; Jacob, who 
married Emeline Manrod, also at home ; and Amelia, the wife of 
William Hentzlemann, of Hamilton county. August W. Burk- 
hardt attended the country schools of Butler county and remained 
under the parental roof, assisting his father with his agricultural 
operations, until he was twenty-six years of age, at which time he 
was united in marriage with Mary Betz, of Reily, Ohio, daughter of 
Jacob and Mary (Snider) Betz, both of whom are now deceased. 
Mr. Betz was for some years a Butler county farmer, and in later 
life removed to Preble county, where he and his wife passed away. 
Mr. and Mrs. Burkhardt became the parents of four children : Louisa, 
who married Cecil Keller, a farmer of Oxford township ; Edward, 
associated in farming with his father, who married Elsie Beckmire ; 
Eleanora, the wife of Roy Beckmire, of Hamilton, with one son, 
Robert; and Elsie, the wife of Henry Brandly, with one son, Earl, 
living near Kitchell, Ind. After his rharriage, Mr. Burkhardt lo- 
cated on a farm in St. Clair township, where he resided for several 
years, then going to Fairfield township which was his home until 
1911. In that year he purchased the farm upon which he now re- 
sides, in Hanover township, a tract of 209 acres known as the old 
Smiley place. He has made numerous valuable improvements on 
this property, upon which he carries on general farming and stock 
raising. His progressive methods and capable management of his 
afifairs have given him the well-merited reputation of being one of 
the skilled farmers of his region, and his high business principles 
have been ample proof of his integrity. He has taken some interest 
in politics, and is a Democratic voter, and he and his family are 
members of St. John's church, at Hamilton. 

Walter M. Butler. Among the men who compose the units in 
the human machinery that operate the great plant of the American 
Rolling mill, at Middletown, one who has seen more than eight 
years of service with this concern, and who has attained through 
industry and fidelity a position of responsibility, is Walter M. But- 
ler. Mr. Butler was born at Pittsburg, Pa., January 9, 1873, and is a 
son of Patrick Michael and Anna (Coyne) Butler. The paternal 
grandfather of Mr. Butler was James Patrick Butler, an Irish patriot 
of Galway, whose labors in endeavoring to work for the liberty of 
his native Erin kept him continually embroiled in political dis- 
turbances. Eventually he left Ireland and went to England, but 
after some years of residence in that country went to Australia and 
then came to America, where his death occurred. Patrick Michael 
was born in Ireland, and Anna Butler in Pittsburg, Pa., where they 
were married, and while in Pittsburg, the father secured employ- 
ment in the steel mills. In that city Walter M. Butler received a 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 103 

public school education and grew to manhood, and there also secured 
his introduction to the business which he has since made his life- 
work. He moved to Middletown in 1911, accepting a position in 
the plant of the American Rolling mill, with which big enterprise he 
has since been connected. He has been faithful, painstaking and 
punctual in his work, and has gained promotion in recognition of 
his services. June 12, 1906, Mr. Butler was married to Mrs. Mary 
(Neyer) Schneider, daughter of Henry and Louisa (Hackman) 
Neyer. natives of Germany. Mr. Neyer died December 3, 1878, 
Mrs. Neyer surviving him till May 9, 1919, dying at the age of eighty- 
seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Butler reside in their own pleasant 
home at 1113 E. North street, where wholesouled hospitality pre- 
vails, and where they are always pleased to make welcome their nu- 
merous friends. They have recently erected a beautiful and modern 
residence on King avenue in Dell park. They are attendants of the 
Holy Trinity Parish Catholic church and take a keen and helpful 
interest in the various movements, civic, educational, social and re- 
ligious, which affect the welfare of their community. While Mr. 
Butler is a Republican in political matters, he only has a good citi- 
zen's part in public affairs. The great war touched his family, not 
lightly, for his brother, Arthur Butler, while serving in France, was 
gassed by the enemy and for two days lay on the field unattended 
in Belleau Woods, without water or food. He subsequently spent 
five months in a base hospital, but eventually recovered and received 
his honorable discharge. 

John A. Butterfield, the wide-awake and progressive president 
of the First National bank, of Okeana, was born near Venice, Ham- 
ilton county, Ohio, in 1859, a son of Jeremiah and Sarah (Willey) 
Butterfield, who had four other children: Mrs. Josephine Brown of 
Okeana ; H. W. of that place ; Mrs. Eliza Whipple of Hamilton and 
Mrs. Jennie Whipple of Venice, Ohio. John A. Butterfield attended 
the graded and high schools of Venice and an advanced school at 
Lebanon, following which he adopted the vocation of educator and 
for several years divided his time between teaching school in the 
intervals between the farming seasons. Through industry and well- 
directed effort he became successful as an agriculturist, and at the 
time of the organization of the First National bank of Okeana he 
became one of the organizers and a member of the board of directors. 
Since that time he has advanced to his present position of president, 
his fellow-officials being George Jeffries of Okeana, vice-president; 
Edwin Heap, of Franklin county, Ind., second vice-president ; Mrs. 
R. E. Earnshaw, cashier; and W. R. Wagner, assistant-cashier; 
while G. E. Hanley of Okeana and Fred Walther of Shandon com- 
plete the board of directors. R. E. Earnshaw and Charles Wagner, 
who are deceased, were members of the original board. The First 
National bank of Okeana is one of the stable and flourishing insti- 
tutions of Butler county and one that holds and merits in full degree 
the confidence of the public and of other banking houses. Mr. But- 
terfield has proved a wise and careful, chief executive, and under 
his able direction the bank has prospered. As an agriculturist, Mr. 
Butterfield is still the owner of a handsome and valuable farm of 



104 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

140 acres located in Morgan township. In politics he is a Democrat. 
Since early manhood he has been foremost in the public enterprises 
which have proved advantageous to his home locality, and is con- 
sidered one of the most influential men in this section of Butler 
county. In 1897, Mr. Butterfield married Lillian, daughter of Israel 
and Jane Atherton, of Hamilton county, Ohio, and they are the 
parents of one daughter, Helen, a young lady of unusual attain- 
ments, and a graduate of Miami university, Oxford, class of 1919, 
with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 

Robert Lincoln Byrum. Among the far-seeing and alert young 
business citizens of Middletown, one who has been prominent 
among the activities which have brought prestige to this thriv- 
ing city of Butler county is Robert Lincoln Byrum. A resident 
of Middletown since 1901, he has passed his entire career as an em- 
ployee of the American Rolling mill, but has found time from his 
duties in that big plant to devote to other activities. Mr Byrum 
was born July 19, 1882, at Newport, Ky., a son of John and Lydia 
(Taral) Byrum, of Greensburg, Ind. About the time of the break- 
ing out of the war between the forces of the North and the South, 
the Byrum family moved to Kentucky from the Hoosier State, and 
John Byrum fought as a soldier throughout that struggle. He died 
in 1912. ^ Mrs. Byrum, who survives her husband, and is a resident 
of Newport, Ky., was the daughter of Oscar Simonton, a man well 
respected by all who knew him. He brought his family to Middle- 
town, and being a business man engaged himself in the grocery 
business. There were six children in the Byrum" family : Robert 
Lincoln ; James, a resident of Middletown ; Alice, who is the wife 
of Benjamin Good, of Dayton ; Jane, who is the wife of Henry 
Koerdel, of Newport; Elizabeth, who married Jacob Weber, of 
Newport ; and Flora, the wife of William Nabor, of Cincinnati. 
Robert L. Byrum attended the public schools of Newport, Ky. 
When ready to enter upon his career, he chose his trade as an iron- 
worker, and after his decision was once made passed through the 
various stages of preparation until placed in his present position at 
the plant as a roller. He has been successful in establishing him- 
self in the good graces and confidence of his employers and his fel- 
low-employees recognize in him a sincerity and integrity that make 
him a general favorite. He is a wide-awake young man as regards 
business opportunities, and as a result holds stock in several paying 
business concerns, with the result that he is able to give his family 
luxuries that the less alert cannot afiford. From boyhood he has 
been a friend of athletics, baseball being his favorite sport, and at 
present he is manager of the Middletown Baseball club, a snappy, 
fast fielding and hard hitting aggregation which has better than held 
its own among the fast clubs of the Miami valley. Mr. Byrum is a 
Republican and a member of the Methodist church. As a fraternalist, 
he is affiliated with the local lodges of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Masons, 
holding membership in the Jefferson Blue Lodge, No. 20; Middle- 
town Chapter, No. 87, R. A. M., and the Hamilton Commandery, No. 
41, K. T. His support is given to all beneficial movements, whether 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 105 

educational, civic or charitable. Mr. Byrum was married April 2, 
1902, at Newport, Ky., to Laura, daughter of Oscar and Isabel (Ram- 
sey) Simonton, of that city, and to this union there have been born 
five children: Ruth, Robert, Gladys, Luella and Jack. Mr. and 
Mrs. Byrum and their family reside in a handsome home on Linden 
avenue, which was purchased by Mr. Byrum in 1917. 

Charles Cadwallader, who for nineteen years has carried on gen- 
eral farming in Union township but is now practically retired, is well 
known in different sections of Ohio, not only as a competent farmer 
but as an educator and minister in the Methodist Protestant church 
body. Mr. Cadwallader was born in Clark county, Ohio, Septem- 
ber 8, 1850, son of Charles and Catherine (Pyle) Cadwallader. The 
father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Pennsylvania and 
grew to manhood there, married Jemima Search of the same state. 
They moved to New York and later he bought land in Clark county, 
Ohio, on which he passed the rest of his life. His second marriage 
was to Catherine Pyle, who was born in Virginia, and mother of sub- 
ject of this sketch. Six children were born to his first union and two 
to the second, these being Charles and Eliza Catherine. While 
growing up on his father's farm in Clark county, Charles Cadwal- 
lader attended school until he qualified as a teacher, following which 
he taught school in order to provide for a college education, having 
in mind a ministerial career. After spending one year at Witten- 
berg college in Ohio, he went to a similar institution at Adrian, 
Mich., from which he was graduated in 1877. For the following five 
years he filled Methodist pastorates and was acceptable wherever 
the church officials located him, faithfully and conscientiously per- 
forming every known duty. In the meanwhile, however, an affec- 
tion of the ears developed into partial loss of hearing and this caused 
Mr. Cadwallader to retire from the ministry and interest himself 
in agricultural pursuits. He then located in Union county, Ohio, 
where he carried on general farming for sixteen years, coming from 
there to Butler county in 1900 and renting a farm of 144 acres situ- 
ated in Union township. He married Rachel Jane Whetsel and they 
have the following children : Flora Catherine, John M., Charles, de- 
ceased ; Edward, Paul, Mary, Edith and Anna. While never active 
in political affairs, Mr. Cadwallader as a man of enlightened under- 
standing, has exercised influence as a citizen, and this influence has 
always been in support of law, order and morality. 

Robert Brown Carnahan, Jr. The announcement of the sud- 
den and untimely death of Robert Brown Carnahan, jr., on June 23. 
1918, came as a shock to everyone who knew him, and this shock 
was accentuated by appreciation of the sterling qualities of the man, 
not less than by that of his splendid talents and the great worth of 
his practical achievement. He had been for eighteen years actively 
associated with the American Rolling Mill company, of Middle- 
town, Ohio. On account of Mr. Carnahan's unbounded generosity, 
his warmth of manner and disposition, and his democratic ways, he 
had endeared himself to a host of loyal friends and co-workers, who 
sorrowfully deplore the unseasonable termination of his noble career 
as one of the world's productive workers. Mr. Carnahan, who stood 



106 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

definitely as one of the representative men of Middletown at the 
time of his demise, was born in the city of Pittsburg, Pa., March 17, 
1870. and was a son of Robert Brown Carnahan, sr., and Kate Ann 
(Ducknall) Carnahan, the latter of whom was reared and educated 
at Batavia, Ohio. Robert B. Carnahan, sr., became a prominent and 
distinguished member of the bar of Pennsylvania and was influential 
in public affairs in the old Keystone state. He was a personal friend 
of President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton, and under the admin- 
istration of this martyred president he served as district attorney of 
the district of western Pennsylvania. He was a man of the highest 
professional attainments and achieved specially notable reputation 
as a corporation lawyer. The family name is one that has stood as 
an exponent of the loftiest patriotism in connection with the annals 
of American history, and it should be specially recorded in this con- 
nection that David Carnahan, great-grandfather of the subject of 
this memoir, served in the War of the Revolution, as a member of 
what was known as the American Flying Artillery, with which he 
took part in many of the important engagements marking the prog- 
ress of the great conflict which brought the boon of national inde- 
pendence. Robert B. Carnahan, jr., acquired his preliminary educa- 
tion in the public schools of Pittsburg and then entered the Uni- 
versity of Pittsburg, in which he was graduated as a member of the 
class of 1891. He received from this institution the degrees of 
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, and later the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Science was conferred upon him by his alma 
mater, in recognition of his valuable inventions in connection with 
the steel industry. After his graduation in the University of Pitts- 
burg, Mr. Carnahan became associated with the owners of the W. 
Dewees-Woods plant at McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and at the re- 
quest of Mr. Wood, sr., he was sent south in connection with gold 
mining prospects. From 1883 to 1899 he was engaged in the open- 
hearth department of the McKeesport plant of the same company, 
and later for a short period he was associated with the Homestead 
works of the Carnegie Steel company, with which he did special 
work in connection with the manufacture of open-hearth steel. Mr. 
Carnahan was the first member of the present working organization 
of the American Rolling Mill company, by which he was employed 
early in the year 1900, shortly after the organization of this corpora- 
tion. The plant which the company then proposed to build was to 
consist of a thirty-ton open-hearth furnace, a twenty-inch bar mill, 
four sheet mills, and a galvanizing plant and factory for fabricating 
sheet-metal products. This was the first time all of these operations 
had been brought together in one plant where the process was to be 
continuous from the open-hearth department through to the factory, 
and it marked a new era in steel-works development. Mr. Carna- 
han designed and constructed the company's first open-hearth fur- 
nace. At that time the open-hearth process of making steel was a 
comparatively new development, as it had not previously been gen- 
erally employed in making steel for the production of sheet metal. 
Consequently there was much to be worked out along both scientific 
and productive lines, and Mr. Carnahan gave his undivided atten- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 107 

tion to the development of this important feature of the business. 
For several years he lived and slept in the company's main office, 
in close proximity to the works, and during much of this period he 
applied himself both day and night. His first position with the 
American Rolling Mill company was that of superintendent of the 
open-hearth department, an ofifice which he assumed in August, 1900. 
In August, 1903, he was advanced to the office of general superin- 
tendent, as successor of James B. Strawbridge, who was the first 
man to hold that position. In October, 1911, Mr. Carnahan was 
elected vice-president, with full charge of the research division, as 
well as the company's large patent interests, and he retained this 
important incumbency until the time of his death. Mr. Carnahan 
was one of the early believers and advocates of the pure-iron theory, 
which had been suggested by the Agricultural Department of the 
United States Government at Washington, and through his many 
successful activities and achievements he became a metallurgist of 
national repute. He was an indefatigable worker, and the actual 
production of commercially pure iron, now generally known as 
"Armco" iron, and its successful working into sheet metal, was due 
to his metallurgical knowledge, his indomitable determination to 
accomplish any task assigned to him, his untiring energy, and his 
great devotion to his work in the company's interests. It was in 
recognition of his invention of the Armco iron that he received the 
honorary collegiate degree of Doctor of Science, as previously noted 
in this context. He furnished all the data involved in the obtaining 
of the various patents issued to the American Rolling Mill com- 
pany, and personally supervised the introduction of his patents in 
England and France, all his patents being duly recorded in the ar- 
chives of the United States Patent Ofifice, at Washington. In 1915 
Mr. Carnahan received from the Panama-Pacific International ex- 
position the first-class gold medal for his Armco patents. Although 
he was deeply absorbed in his business affairs, with his exacting 
executive duties, Mr. Carnahan found time and opportunity to par- 
ticipate in civic activities, as a loyal and public-spirited citizen. 
His efiforts in the days following the 1913 flood, in which he raised a 
large fund for relief work, will long be remembered by Middletown 
people. He took also a prominent part in the campaign by which 
were raised funds to complete the Middletown hospital, and as 
treasurer and chairman of directors of that institution, he aided 
greatly in placing it upon a firm foundation. He was active also in 
church affairs, and he held for several years the office of treasurer 
of the First Presbyterian church of Middletown, a post which he 
eventually felt constrained to resign, owing to the manifold other 
demands upon his time and attention. His political allegiance was 
given to the Republican party and he affiliated with the Masonic 
fraternity. The year 1903, after he had located permanently at 
Middletown, recorded the marriage of Mr. Carnahan to Miss Frances 
P. Mills, of Hastings-on-the-Hudson, New York, the hymeneal 
ceremony having been performed in the city of Pittsburg, Pa., and 
the home of the young couple having been forthwith established at 
Middletown, where Mrs. Carnahan continues to reside since the 



108 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

death of her husband. The one child of their union died within a 
few days after birth. Ideal relations marked the companionship of 
Mr. and Mrs. Carnahan, and he was never happier than when he was 
within the portals of his own home, the hospitality of which was 
most graciously extended by its popular chatelaine. Mrs. Carnahan 
is a daughter of the late Edmund S. Mills, of the state of New York, 
and the maiden name of her mother was Euphemia Morton Paton. 
In connection with his professional and industrial activities Mr. 
Carnahan held membership in the American Iron & Steel institute, 
the American Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Society 
for Testing Materials, and the British Iron & Steel institute, besides 
which he was a member of the Business Men's club of Cincinnati, 
and the Queen City and University clubs of Cincinnati and Chamber 
of Commerce of Middletown, Ohio. Mr. Carnahan will always be 
remembered for his generous impulses and for the single-minded 
and enthusiastic manner in which he met every problem, as well as 
for the kindly and affectionate way in which he greeted everyone. 
Untiring in his good works, he ever manifested toward all mankind 
the spirit that was shown by the little boy who, when asked if the 
child he was carrying were not too heavy for him, replied : "He's 
not heavy ; you see, he's my brother." The indomitable, but gen- 
erous, kindly, optimistic spirit of Robert B. Carnahan will live for- 
ever in the minds and hearts of the Armco men. In conclusion of 
this memoir it is pleasing to reproduce the following estimate, which 
bears its own lesson and significance : "Mr. Carnahan was rarely 
gifted with a capacity for personal relationships, and he never failed 
to make these a means of happiness and helpfulness to his fellows 
in business affairs, as well as in his more intimate friendships. The 
broad charity that 'thinketh no ill,' the passion for service that never 
failed, the generous spirit that loved fair play, as well as his intuitive 
knowledge of all classes of men, drew to him many a man who 
needed a helper, and caused him to be much sought as personal 
counselor and advisor. In this gracious service he never betrayed 
the confidence of those who trusted him, but always brought new 
inspiration and hope for the work of life." 

William Barton Carr, who is known chiefly as a mill operator 
at Hamilton and near-by communities, is also recognized as a citi- 
zen who has lent his influence to worthy movements of a nature 
calculated to develop and strengthen commercial, civic and educa- 
tional standards. Mr. Carr was born on a farm in Hanover town- 
ship, Butler county, Ohio, September 15, 1848, a son of John W. and 
Elizabeth (James) Carr, also natives of this county. The family 
was founded here by the grandfather of Mr. Carr, a Revolutionary 
soldier from the state of Vermont, who took up land from the United 
States Government in Hanover township and there passed the re- 
maining years of his life in agricultural pursuits. John W. Carr was 
also a life-long farmer, although during the early days his career was 
frequently interrupted by periods of public service and for some 
time he acted in the capacity of clerk of Butler county. He died in 
1851, when his son was but three years of age. He and his wife 
were the parents of the following children : Mary Ellen, who is de- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 109 

ceased; Hannah; Louise, deceased; William Barton; and Wilmina 
E., of El Paso, Texas. By a second marriage, to Emmeline Sample, 
John W. Carr had two children : Bessie, a resident of Philadelphia, 
Pa. ; and Fred, who is deceased. William B. Carr was given good 
educational advantages in his youth, attending the public schools 
of Cincinnati and Oxford and Audubon university, near Columbus. 
As a young man, when he entered upon his career, he chose milling 
as his business, and in connection with his mill for many years con- 
ducted a bakery. He built up a large and profitable business, and 
was not only highly esteemed by the j)eople of his own community, 
but by those as well of Cambridge City and Milton, Ind., where he 
also built mills. As a citizen he has been a supporter of all worthy 
movements, and during the war period his mill co-operated with the 
Government in conservation of food supplies. Mr. Carr married 
Clara, daughter of William E. Brown, and they had four children : 
Bessie, Maynard, Everett and Mary, all deceased. His second mar- 
riage was to Jessie, daughter of Doctor Brown, also of Hamilton. 

Andrew Jackson Carson, now deceased, was for many years 
actively engaged in agricultural pursuits in Butler county, where he 
was widely kown and universally respected. He was born in Lemon 
township, Butler county, O., May 25, 1828, a son of James and Mar- 
garet (Potts) Carson. James Carson and his wife were natives of 
Pennsylvania, who came at a very early day to Butler county, O., 
and securing wild land in Lemon township from the government, 
went to work to clear it ofif and place it under cultivation. They 
died two miles south of Monroe, O., many years ago. The children 
born to them were as follows : John, who was a farmer of Lemon 
township ; Mary Ann and Leah, who were twins ; Andrew J., whose 
name heads this review ; and Nancy, who is deceased. Andrew 
Jackson Carson received such educational training as was offered by 
the common schools of his day and neighborhood, and was reared 
on his father's farm, where he assisted in the work of operating it 
until his marriage, in 1856, following which event he and his wife 
located one and one-half miles south of Monroe, and lived on that 
farm for six years, and then spent the succeeding five years on an- 
other farm east of Monroe. In 1867, Mr. Carson bought the home- 
stead now occupied by his widow and eldest child, which is north of 
Monroe in Lemon township. Here he carried on general farming 
until his death September 5, 1910. Practically all the improvements 
on the place were made by him, and he added very materially to its 
value by the work he expended on it and the care he exercised over 
all the details. February 21, 1856, Mr. Carson was united in mar- 
riage with Eliza J. Davis, born February 22, 1836, a daughter of 
Samuel and Narcisa (Howard) Davis, and granddaughter of Samuel 
Davis, and great-granddaughter of Samuel and Susan (Boyd) Davis, 
who died at Monroe, O., having had the following children : Sarah, 
Nancy, Elizabeth, Maria, Ruth, James, Samuel, Rebecca, Reuben, 
John and Nathan. Samuel and Narcisa (Howard) Davis had the 
following children : Eliza J., who is Mrs. Carson ; John, who is de- 
ceased, served as a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war, 
for three years, died at the home of his brother-in-law, Mr. Carson ; 



no MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Thomas Benton, who is deceased, also served as a Union soldier 
during the Civil war; James B., who is now living with Mrs. Car- 
son ; Martha, who is the widow of Martin Lee, lives at Marysville, 
O. ; William, who is deceased; and George Washington, who died 
at Muncie, Ind. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Carson who attained 
to maturity are as follows : John, who is a farmer, has always lived 
at home ; James, who was in a hardware business at Hamilton, O., 
for ten years, was engaged in several undertakings prior to moving 
to Dayton, O., where he is now secretary of the Ohio Hardware as- 
sociation, and he married Ella Harkrader and they have one child; 
and Charlie, who was in the hardware business with his brother at 
Hamilton, is now with the Niles Tool works of Hamilton, O., mar- 
ried Catherine Braner, and they have one son, Robert. Mrs. Carson 
is a member of the United Presbyterian church of Monroe, and one 
of the oldest members of its missionary society as well as being the 
oldest member of the Red Cross of Monroe. Mr. Carson was a 
Democrat and was trustee of his township, and held other offices. 
He was a man who early learned the value of time and the wisdom 
of economy, and made all of his work count for something, and once 
he had earned money, took good care to lay some of it away, for he 
knew it was poor business policy to live up to his income. While 
acquiring material prosperity, he did not forget to develop those 
characteristics which make for good citizenship and personal regard, 
and when he died his community realized that one of its representa- 
tive men had passed away, and that its loss was heavy. 

Capt. John D. Gary, an honored Civil war veteran and now de- 
ceased, was born in Jacksonboro, Ohio, August 22, 1841, a son of 
James D. and Amy (Phares) Gary, the former of Hamilton county, 
Ohio, and the latter of Wayne township, Butler county. James D. 
Gary was a merchant all of his life at Jacksonboro and Seven Mile, 
at which place both he and his wife passed away, in the faith of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. They were the parents of six children : 
Eleanor, deceased, who was the wife of Harry Turner ; John D. ; 
Joseph H., formerly a merchant and hotel keeper at Seven Mile; 
Martha J., of Hamilton, widow of Smith Hanirich ; Elizabeth, who 
died at the age of one year; and George W., who is engaged in mer- 
chandising at Sheridan, Ind. John D. Gary attended the home 
schools of Jacksonboro, and was an excellent penman and book- 
keeper. In the latter capacity he was employed in his father's store 
until the outbreak of the Civil war, when, at the age of twenty-one 
years he enlisted at Hamilton in Company G, 83d Regiment, Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry. His regiment was organized at Camp Denni- 
son, where it remained during August and September, 1862, and 
subsequently took part in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Port 
Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hill, Big Black River, Siege of Vicks- 
burg, second assault of Vicksburg, Jackson, Chateau, Sabine Cross 
Roads, Cane River and Fort Blakeley. At the last place Captain 
Gary led his command and was the first to enter the famous strong- 
hold. Early during his service he was made sergeant ; in April, 
1863, was promoted first lieutenant, and February 18, 1864, received 
his captain's commission. January 17, 1865, he was transferred to 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 111 

Company I of the same regiment, with which he served until the 
close of the war, and was honorably discharged July 5, 1865. Fol- 
lowing the close of his military career, Captain Gary located at 
Seven Mile, where, December 10, 1867, he married Theresa D., 
daughter of Felix and Caroline (Thomas) Strother, natives respec- 
tively of Virginia and New York, and residents of Dayton for some 
years, where Mr. Strother was engaged as a wagon maker. His 
death occurred in 1847, while his widow survived him until 1895, 
their five children being: Lyman T., of Nowata, Okla. ; Martha, 
deceased, who was the wife of the late S. J. B. Bryant; Mary E., 
the widow of Henry Howe, of Fulda, Minn. ; Nancy Bell, the 
widow of John Thomas, of Seven Mile ; and Mrs. Gary. To Captain 
and Mrs. Gary there were born six children: Florence A., the wife 
of Walter Gerard, a merchant at West Carrollton, Ohio ; James D., 
connected with an aeroplane factory at Dayton; Lyman T., a 
machinist at Cincinnati ; Fred B., a blacksmith and machinist at 
Hamilton; Carrie Belle, who died at the age of two years; and 
Albert B., connected with the National Cash Register company, of 
Dayton. After his discharge from the war. Captain Gary was 
connected with merchandising at Seven Mile for a time and then 
went to Marshall county, Kan., where for three years he acted as 
bookkeeper for a concern. Returning to Seven Mile, he was vari- 
ously employed for a time and was then appointed storekeeper at 
the Soldiers' Home, Sandusky. When the term of his appointment 
expired, he returned to Seven Mile, where he was a notary public 
and pension attorney until his death, in January, 1898. He was 
a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which 
his widow also belongs. She resides at Seven Mile, where she is 
surrounded by numerous sincere friends. 

Jerome Gates, is one of the progressive farmers of Ross town- 
ship, Butler county, Ohio, whose success has been due to their own 
individual efforts. He is the son of William and Elizabeth (Turner) 
Gates, and was born in Fayette county, Ky., July 13, 1860. After 
his marriage, William Gates moved to Butler county, Ohio, locating 
in Ross township, but later the family returned to Kentucky, where 
the death of both father and mother occurred. The children were 
Jerome, William, Charles, Joseph and Agnes. Jerome, the oldest 
child, and subject of this sketch, was brought with other members 
of the family to Ross township where he attended public schools 
until the return to Kentucky. He remained in Kentucky until 
1872, when he again went to Ross township and settled on a farm 
where Ellsworth Lacey now lives. In 1887, he married Sallie 
Cobb, daughter of M. T. and Anna (Sanders) Cobb, who is a native 
of Jessamine county, Ky. Two children were born to this union : 
Shirley, Mrs. Llewelyn Pickens has two children, Beulah and Leroy ; 
Robert, who graduated from the Ohio State university in veterinary 
surgery and served a long period with the Army in France as a 
veterinarian. For the past eighteen years, Mr. Gates has been in 
charge of the Solmyer farm, and looks after the cultivation of 
225 acres of land. Notwithstanding the large demands made upon 
him, he finds time to assist and take part in public alTairs such as 



112 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Red Cross and other war activities. In politics, Mr. Gates is a 
Republican ; in church affiliation, a Presbyterian. 

Cavalaris Brothers. Notable among the successful business 
enterprises of Hamilton, Ohio, is The New York Restaurant, the 
founders, owners and proprietors of which are three brothers, Louis, 
John and James Cavalaris, all of whom were born and educated in 
northern Greece. When John Cavalaris was seventeen years old, 
James sixteen, and Louis fourteen, they went together to Con- 
stantinople, Turkey, but their ambition was to come to America 
and a year and a half later they accomplished their object. After 
landing in New York City, they looked about them for a suitable 
business opening, but not finding it there, they proceeded to 
Knoxville, Tenn. While New York had not afforded them the 
business opening they were looking for, the magnitude of the city 
so impressed them that when, in 1909, they opened their fine eating 
place at Knoxville, they gave it the title of The New York Restau- 
rant, which they have adopted as a trade name. In 1910, Louis and 
John Cavalaris left the Knoxville business in charge of James, while 
they came on to Hamilton, Ohio, where they established the first 
restaurant at No. 221 Court street, where business was carried on 
for seven years. Rapid expansion then demanded larger quarters 
and in 1917 removal was made to No. 225 Court street, where their 
accommodations are three times larger than at the first location. 
The New York Restaurant is the leading concern of its kind at 
Hamilton, and its success is due to the enterprise and honorable 
business methods of its proprietors. On March 7, 1918, James 
Cavalaris was called to the colors and entered the medical corps 
of the army stationed at Camp Greenleaf, Georgia, five months later 
was sent to France, his work there being assisting surgeons in 
operations. He returned to the United States April 27, 1919, and 
was honorably discharged at Camp Sherman on May 16, 1919. 
When James entered military service, John Cavalaris took charge 
of the restaurant at Knoxville, which the brothers still operate, and 
after his discharge he came to Hamilton and joined Louis in the 
management of the business here. The brothers as a firm belong 
to the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, and James and John 
Cavalaris are members of the Fraternal order of Eagles. 

John W. Chamberlin. Two and one-half miles east of Middle- 
town, on the Coles road, is situated what is known as the Hetzler 
farm, but which is now owned and operated by John W. Chamber- 
lin. This Lemon township farmer is one of the progressive and 
enterprising men of his locality, and during the period that he has 
resided here has become well and favorably known to the people 
of the community. He was born on a farm in Turtle Creek town- 
ship, Warren county, O., October 22, 1867, and is a son of William 
Chamberlin. His maternal grandfather, George Bergen, was a 
native of New Jersey who became an early settler of Lemon town- 
ship, Butler county, where he passed the rest of his life in farming 
ventures. William Chamberlin grew up in his native state of 
New Jersey, where he was born March 5, 1825, and was there 
married February 5, 1851, to Mary J. Bergen, also a nitive of that 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 113 

state, born March 21, 1834. They resided there only a short time 
after their union, however, and then came to Butler county as early 
settlers of the vicinity of Poast Town. Subsequently they were 
residents of Warren county, where the father carried on agricul- 
tural pursuits in Turtle Creek township until his death, which 
occurred September 11, 1871, when he was but forty-five years of 
age. Mr. Chamberlin was a Republican voter and a man who was 
esteemed in his community as a good citizen. His widow survived 
him for many years, and passed away in Kansas, when seventy 
years of age. She was a woman of many estimable qualities and for 
a number of years was a member of the Presbyterian church at 
Blue Ball, O. She and her husband were the parents of eight 
children : Elizabeth, born June 9, 1852, who married Landon Day, 
and died August 8, 1915, at Portland, Ore.; Mary Rebecca, born 
May 13, 1853, who died March 5, 1856; Hezekiah, born May 10, 
1859, who died in Kansas ; Mary Ann, the third daughter, 
who married William Williams, of Kansas ; Hannah, born March 
14, 1862, who is the widow of Frank Burke and lives in New 
Mexico; George B., born November 19, 1865, who died July 20, 
1866; John W., of this notice; and Nannie, born December 22, 
1869, the wife of George E. Kingen, of Mount Washington, Kans. 
John W. Chamberlin was but three years of age when his father 
died, and as a result his education was somewhat prescribed, al- 
though the mother not only managed to keep her little brood to- 
gether, but also to care for her own parents until their deaths. For 
three and one-half years he lived near Spring Hill, in Johnson 
county, Kans., and subsequently made his home with his grand- 
mother, but eventually removed to Franklin, O. In the meantime 
he was acquiring such education as was possible in the home 
schools, and growing to young manhood, and December 10, 1891, 
was married near Franklin to Sarah D. Chamberlin, daughter of 
Daniel and Amanda (DuBois) Chamberlin, born near Carlisle, O., 
whose parents were both natives of New Jersey. During the 
active portion of his career Daniel Chamberlin was a farmer, but 
he and his wife have now retired and are living in comfort at 
Franklin, where they have a modern home. Following their mar- 
riage, John W. Chamberlin and his wife resided on a farm east 
of Franklin, but later moved to another property south of that 
city, where they made their home for six years. They next became 
residents of Blue Ball, where they lived for two years, and for 
the following seven years had the old Cook place. In 1907 Mr. 
Chamberlin bought the Hetzler place on the Coles road, two and 
one-half miles east of Middletown, a tract of fifty-seven acres, on 
which he has since made numerous valuable and attractive im- 
provements. He uses modern methods and highl}^ improved ma- 
chinery in his work, and is accounted one of the skilled agricul- 
turists of his community whose work is attended by satisfying 
results in the way of emoluments. He is a general farmer, and in 
addition does some dairying, and his business reputation is of the 
best. Mr. Chamberlin votes the Republican ticket, but is not active 
in political afifairs and has not chosen to allow his name to be used 

8 



114 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

as a candidate for public office in the past. He and Mrs. Chamberlin 
are members of the Presbyterian church at Blue Ball, and both 
are well and favorably known in both Butler and Warren counties, 
where they have many warm friends. They are the parents of two 
daughters : Dorothy and Florence L., the former of whom was 
married January 15, 1918, to Fred W. Helsinger, jr., a farmer west 
of Middletown. 

Joseph J. Clair, who holds a position as heater in the American 
Rolling Mills company, at Middletown, Butler county, has been a 
resident of this city only a few years. Mr. Clair was born in the 
city of Cincinnati, Ohio, May 8. 1889, and is a son of Henry and 
Marie (Devanney) Clair, who still reside in that city, as do also 
the other three children- — Catherine, Rose and Anna, the last men- 
tioned being the wife of Henry Luebke. Joseph J. Clair acquired his 
early education in the parochial school of St. Edward's Catholic 
church in his native city, and thereafter he served an apprenticeship 
to the printer's trade, in which he became a skilled workman. He 
followed his trade in Cincinnati for a time, when he came to Middle- 
town, to accept a position with the Naegle-Auer Printing company, 
with which he continued for some time. In 1915, he abandoned 
the work of the printer's trade to accept the position, of which he 
has since continued the incumbent, as an employee of the American 
Rolling Mills company. In politics he maintains an independent 
attitude, and he and his wife are communicants of St. John's 
Catholic church. On June 3, 1913, he married Leona Agatha 
Fabing, who was born in Middletown, July 3, 1889, and who is a 
daughter of William and Catherine (Hart) Fabing, well-known 
citizens of Middletown, where the father is a representative business 
man, with a well equipped establishment on Main street. Mr. and 
Mrs. Clair have two sons: — John W. and William, and the family 
home is at 921 Yankee road. 

Curtis A. Clark, D. V. M., who is engaged in the successful 
practice of veterinary surgery at College Corner, has been a practi- 
tioner of this calling since 1903, and during this time has built up 
a reputation as one of the leaders in his locality in this field of 
endeavor. He is a native son of Butler county, having been born 
at College Corner, April 26, 1874, his parents being G. W. and 
Cynthia (Welliver) Clark, who still reside here. G. W. Clark, who 
for many years was a blacksmith at College Corner, is now living in 
comfortable retirement at the age of eighty years, and is highly 
respected in the community as is also his worthy and estimable 
wife, who is a member of the old-settled and honored family of 
Welliver, pioneers of Butler county. There were five children in 
the family: Albert, Myrtie, an infant, Charles and Curtis A., all of 
?/hom are deceased with the exception of Doctor Clark. Curtis A. 
Clark was educated in the graded and high schools at College 
Corner, and when he completed his studies took up the trade of 
barber, which he followed as a journeyman and proprietor for 
fifteen years. As a boy and youth he had been interested in horses 
and had learned much of their diseases while passing spare time 
around his father's blacksmith shop, and eventually decided to take 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 115 

up the work of a veterinarian. However, he knew that the ad- 
vancements in this line of endeavor had been great since his youth, 
and in order to prepare himself for his career he took a course in 
the Indiana Veterinary college, at Indianapolis, from which he 
was duly graduated in 1903. At that time he returned to College 
Corner and established himself in practice, and since then has built 
up a large and lucrative professional business, not alone in the 
immediate community of his home, but in the surrounding country- 
side and in the counties adjacent. He is a great friend of dumb 
animals, understands them thoroughly, and has had extraordinary 
success in treating their ills. He is a humane man, full of sympathy 
for his patients, and this, perhaps, has been one of the chief reasons 
for his success. In the various communities to which he has 
traveled. Doctor Clark has made many friendships, while in his 
home locality he is known as a good and public-spirited citizen. He 
was married in 1896 to Ada B., daughter of Alexander and Ada 
Kennedy, of Cottage Grove, Ohio, the father a farmer and plasterer. 
To this union there have come two children: Caryl, born in 1901, 
and a graduate of high school ; and Edna, born in 1907, attending 
the graded school. 

James Marshall Clark. Among the employees of the American 
Rolling Mill, at Middletown, who can boast of the possession of a 
fifteen-year pin, designating fifteen years of faithful and continuous 
service, is James Marshall Clark, who occupies the position of 
heater. Mr. Clark, who has passed his entire career in this line of 
work, was born in Ligonier valley. Pa., January 28, 1871, a son of 
Joseph P. and Jane Agnes (Reed) Clark. The American history 
of the Reed family, of which Mr. Clark's mother is a member, began 
with the early settlement of Pennsylvania when in 1753 people 
bearing the name located in the Cumberland valley. Since that 
time the family has produced a distinguished line of people, among 
them noted physicians, lawyers and clergymen. Mrs. Jane Agnes 
(Reed) Clark was born September 27, 1845, at Ligonier, Pa., a 
daughter of Marshall and Sarah (McKelvey) Reed. Her father, 
the youngest of a family of twelve children, was born on the original 
Reed homestead. May 15, 1819, and married Sarah McKelvey, and 
their descendants still retain the farm of their ancestors. There 
were seven children born to their union : Jane Agnes, Asenath, 
Rebecca A., James McKelvey, Sarah Mary, Robert Buchanan and 
Lavinia Elizabeth, of whom three died in childhood. June 17, 1863, 
Marshall Reed enlisted in CompanyB, 1st Batallion, Pennsylvania 
Volunteer Cavalry, and served until the close of the war. In his 
declining years he applied for a pension, but a voucher from the 
United States Government came a few hours late for his signature, 
he having died March 20, 1892. His wife, Sarah, died September 
6, 1875. Jane Agnes, the oldest of their children, married Joseph 
P. Clark, who was born August 16, 1841. He enlisted as a soldier 
in the Civil war September 12, 1861, and served until the close of 
the war, being credited with having participated in twenty-five 
battles, and receiving his honorable discharge July 1, 1865. He 
and his wife were the parents of nine children : Sarah Alice, Matilda 



116 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

J., James Marshall, Asenath A., Frank M., McKinley Patterson, 
Charles Vincent, Addie Reed and Irvin Ross. James Marshall 
Clark received a public school education and about the year 1904 
entered the Zanesville plant of the American Rolling Mill company. 
In 1911 he came to Middletown, where he has since been employed 
in the capacity of a heater, and is considered one of the company's 
reliable, skilled and trustworthy workmen. He is a liberal Repub- 
lican in politics, and he and his family are members of the Methodist 
church and reside in their own pretty home on Grand avenue. Mr. 
Clark was married at Apollo, Pa., November 25, 1897, to Miss Lottie 
Snyder, who was born January 29, 1878, and they have had six 
children: an infant, born May 14, 1899, who died two days later; 
and Mildred, Violet, Freda, Mary and Jimmie, who reside with 
their parents. 

William E. Clark. After spending more than four decades in 
the hard and unceasing work of the agriculturist and accumulating 
a competence sufficient to relinquish active labor, the average man 
would feel satisfied to retire to a life of comfort and ease, untroubled 
by business cares. Such has not, however, been the nature of 
William E. Clark, of Oxford. For more than forty years this highly 
respected citizen was a tiller of the soil, after which he engaged in 
business of another character for several years, and today, when 
past the Psalmist's three-score-and-ten, he still has large and im- 
portant interests to demand the constant use of his active body and 
fertile brain. Mr. Clark was born on a farm in Morgan township, 
Butler county, Ohio, March 6, 1849, a son of Salem and Susan 
(Ragdale) Clark, also natives of that county, the former of Reily 
township and the latter of Morgan township. After their marriage, 
the parents located in the former township, where the mother died, 
the father removing to Oxford two years prior to his own death. 
Both were laid to rest at Scipio. They were the parents of four 
children : Mary Louise, who married Jesse Beard ; Alfred, who is 
deceased; William E., of this review; and Henry W., a Hamilton 
real estate dealer with an office in the Rentschler building. William 
E. Clark secured his education in the country schools, after leaving 
which he worked on the home farm for a time and then engaged 
in farming on his own account. For more than forty-three years 
he was connected with matters of an agricultural character and 
through his industrious, painstaking and well-directed work ac- 
cumulated a competency and established himself in a position where 
he was known as a thoroughly capable, substantial and result- 
producing agriculturist. Leaving the farm at the end of that 
long period, he took up his residence at Hamilton, where his 
well-known business ability placed him at the head of the firm of 
Clark Brothers, carriage and harness dealers, and this business 
he followed until 1905, when he came to Oxford and bought his 
present home, a handsome, attractive and comfortable residence at 
No. 112 Campus avenue, which he remodeled. From the time of 
his arrival to the present he has engaged successfully and exten- 
sively in the buying and selling of farms, and at this time has hold- 
ings both locally and in the State of Wisconsin. As a citizen he 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 117 

has always been worthily and honorably interested in civic affairs, 
and the high respect and confidence in which he is universally held 
has led to his election as president of the village council of Oxford, 
a position in which he has worked energetically for the betterment 
of his community. He is a staunch Democrat in politics. Mr. 
Clark was married January 2, 1872, to Mary, daughter of John 
and Elizabeth (Fye) Beard, of Reily township, who had two other 
children : William A., of Dublin, Ind. ; and George deceased. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Clark there have been born five children : John E. and 
Jessie H., both deceased ; Grace, the wife of W. B. Cullen, of Dayton, 
who owns a foundry at Miamisburg; and Clifford and Perley, de- 
ceased. 

Daniel L. Clear, of Fairfield township, Butler county, is one 
of the progressive farmers of this county and is proving successful 
as an agriculturist and breeder and grower of live stock, to which 
department of his farm enterprise he gives special attention, the 
major part of the forage crops on his farm being used for the 
feeding of his cattle and hogs. He rents and carries on operations 
on what is known as the Burns farm, and he is one of the substantial 
and popular citizens of his native county. Mr. Clear was born near 
Jones station, in Fairfield township, Butler county, December 11, 
1875. In Ireland were born his parents, James and Elizabeth 
(Kelly) Clear, the latter of whom was a girl of eleven years at the 
time of her parents' immigration to America. James Clear was 
reared and educated in the Emerald Isle and was an ambitious 
youth of eighteen years when he came to the United States, the 
sailing vessel on which he crossed the Atlantic ocean being three 
months upon the ocean. Upon his arrival in Butler county, Ohio, 
James Clear first found employment in shoveling corn at the old 
Dodsworth distillery, a flourishing industrial institution of the 
county at that time, and later he served for a short time as a driver 
of n»ules along the old-time canal in this section of the state. For 
a number of years he was employed at farm work in Butler county, 
and after his marriage he rented the old Wormester farm, but a 
year later he removed to the Taylor farm. The succeeding year 
found him operating a farm of forty acres in Hamilton county, and 
he then returned to Butler county and rented the Jones farm at 
Jones station, where he continued his farming enterprise for twenty- 
six years, within which time his son Daniel L., of this review, was 
there born. At the expiration of this time Mr. Clear purchased a 
farm of eighty acres in Union township, and there both he and his 
wife passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the confidence and 
esteem of all who knew them, and both earnest communicants of 
the Catholic church. Of their eight children seven are living — 
Thomas, John, Daniel L., Martin, Mary, Margaret and Elizabeth. 
Daniel L. Clear has continuously resided in Butler county from 
the time of his birth, and here he has effectively upheld the honors 
of the family name, both as a loyal citizen and as a successful farmer. 
He acquired his early education in the public schools of Fairfield 
township and thereafter assisted his father in the work of the 
home farm until he assumed full control, by the purchase of the 



118 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

homestead, in Union township. There he remained until 1915, when 
he rented and removed to the Burns farm, upon which he has since 
continued as an agriculturist and stock raiser. Mr. Clear has always 
taken lively interest in community affairs and has been influential in 
the local councils of the Democratic party. He represented Union 
township as a member of the Democratic central committee of 
Butler county, and for seven years served as trustee of that town- 
ship. He is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and he and 
his wife are active communicants of the Catholic church at Hamil- 
ton. June 7, 1914, he was married to Catherine Clark, whose 
widowed mother, Mrs. Ellen Clark, is a well known resident of 
Butler county. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Clear had been a success- 
ful and popular teacher in the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Clear 
have two children : Ellen Elizabeth and Mary Catherine. 

Thomas Clear is known as one of the successful and popular 
representative farmers of Fairfield township. He is the owner of 
a well improved farm of 115 acres, where he has been successfully 
carrying forward operations as an agriculturist and stock grower 
since 1914, prior to which year he had here farmed on rented land. 
He is of pioneer stock in Butler county and was here born, in Fair- 
field township, December 11, 1861, a son of James and Elizabeth 
(Kelly) Clear, both of whom were born on the fair old Emerald 
Island, the father having been a youth of eighteen years when he 
came to America, and the mother having accompanied her parents 
to this country when she was a girl of eleven years. Animated by 
the spirited buoyancy and ambition characteristic of the people of 
his native land, James Clear crossed the Atlantic on one of the 
old-time sailing vessels, the voyage having been of three months' 
duration. He soon made his way to Butler county, Ohio, and here 
his first employment was that of shoveling corn at the old Dods- 
worth distillery, which represented one of the pioneer industrial 
enterprises of the county. Later he was employed as driver of mules 
on the old canal towpath, which he followed but a short time. He 
then found employment at farm work, in Fairfield township, and 
his compensation at the time averaged $11 a month, while the 
pioneer conditions made the work exceedingly hard. After his mar- 
riage Mr. Clear rented the old Wormester farm, but about a year 
later removed to the old Taylor farm, and remained here for one 
year. He next established himself on a farm of forty acres in 
Hamilton county, but a year later he returned to Butler county 
and rented the Jones farm at Jones station. There he continued 
operations twenty-six years, at the expiration of which he pur- 
chased eighty acres in Union township, and operated it during the 
remainder of his life and here both he and his wife died. Of their 
eight children seven are living: Thomas, John, Daniel, Martin, 
Mary, Margaret and Elizabeth. The parents were folk of sterling 
character and possessed of those genial and generous attributes that 
foster enduring friendships. Both were earnest communicants of 
the Catholic church, in whose faith they carefully reared their 
children. Thomas Clear gained the major part of his early educa- 
tion in the old schoolhouse at Jones station, and after leaving 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 119 

school he assisted his father in farming operations until his mar- 
riage. He and his young wife then established themselves on a 
small farm which he rented, but two years later they removed to a 
larger farm, of 150 acres, upon which he conducted operations five 
years. For nineteen years thereafter Mr. Clear rented the Patrick 
Burns farm, and at the expiration of this period he purchased and 
located upon his present farm, which he is maintatining at a high 
standard of productivity and which has received numerous and 
substantial improvements at his hands. His political views pro- 
claim him as an adherent of the Democratic party, and he has been 
called upon to serve in various local offices of trust, having held 
the position of township trustee two years, and for seven years was 
the incumbent of the office of justice of the peace, and he served for 
some time as road superintendent in his township. He is affiliated 
with the Knights of Columbus and he and his family are communi- 
cants of the Catholic church. On June 8, 1880, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Clear to Mary Jacquermin, daughter of John 
Jacquermin, and of the six children of this union three are living — 
James, John and Paul. James married Miss Uste and they have two 
children. John married Miss Blanche Fry and they have one 
child, Elsie. Paul wedded Miss Lillian Arlinghouse and they have 
one son, Thomas, named in honor of his paternal grandfather. 

Doc Iris Cochran, M. D. — The first personal name of Doctor 
Cochran must have been given with parental prevision of the pro- 
fessional activities that were eventually to engage his attention, and 
today he has secure vantage-place as one of the representative 
physicians and surgeons of his native county, where he is established 
in successful general practice at Millville. In his popularity and 
professional success he has efifectually set at naught any application 
of the scriptural statement that "a prophet is not without honor 
save in his own country", and he further has the prestige of being 
a representative of one of the old and honored families of Butler 
county. He was born on his father's farm in Hanover township, this 
county, February 12, 1878, and is a son of Taylor and Hannah 
(Gillespie) Cochran. Taylor Cochran was a brother of J. S. 
Cochran, of Ross township, and in the review of the career of the 
latter, on other pages of this work, is given due record concerning 
the family history while this publication likewise offers elsewhere 
detailed record concerning the Gillespie family of which the mother 
of Doctor Cochran was a representative. Taylor Cochran long held 
rank among the successful exponents of agricultural industry in 
Butler county, where he developed one of the fine farms of Han- 
over township. Of his two children the subject of this review is the 
younger, and the elder is Albertus, who now maintains his resi- 
dence at Hamilton, Butler county. To the public schools of his 
native county Doctor Cochran is indebted for his early educational 
discipline, which was conjoined with that involved in the work of 
the home farm. He continued his studies until he had completed the 
curriculum of the high school at Hamilton, and in the meanwhile 
he had formulated definite plans for his future career. In con- 
sonance with these plans and ambitions he entered the medical 



120 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

department of the University of Ohio, in which institution he was 
graduated as a member of the class of 1903 and with the degree of 
M. D. Shortly after thus receiving his degree he established himself 
in practice at Millville, and here his recognized professional ability, 
his close and faithful application and his personal popularity have 
conspired to the developing for him of a large and representative 
general practice. He is identified with the Butler County Medical 
society and the Ohio State Medical society, and at the time of this 
writing he is a valued member of the board of health of Butler 
county. During the period of the nation's participation in the 
World war Dr. Cochran served as a member of the Medical Reserve 
Corps, besides having been chairman of the committee that had in 
charge the various campaigns for war support — Victory Loans, 
War-Savings Stamps, etc.— in his county, the while his wife took 
an active and prominent part in Red Cross activities in the county. 
He is a Republican in his political proclivities, is affiliated with the 
Knights of Pythias, and both he and his wife are active members of 
the Presbyterian church in their home village, as are they also 
popular factors in the representative social life of the community. 
The year 1904 recorded the marriage of Doctor Cochran to Miss 
Sadie Elizabeth Henry, a daughter of Halsey and Elizabeth Henry, 
well-known citizens of Riley township, Butler county. Doctor and 
Mrs. Cochran have three children : Hugh W., Faye Elizabeth and 
John W. 

J. S. Cochran is one of the wide awake and energetic agricul- 
turists of Ross township, Butler county, Ohio. Not only has he 
labored industriously and conscientiously to advance his own ma- 
terial interests, but he has always shown a kindly feeling for his 
neighbors. The Cochran family of Butler county is one of the oldest 
and most respected of the long-time residents of that section and 
has played an important part in furthering the agricultural im- 
portance of the community. This family descended from William 
and Rebecca (Morrow) Cochran, who came from Adams county, 
Pa., in 1814, with their three small children, locating first in Warren 
county, Ohio, near the Little Miami river, where they joined 
Jeremiah Morrow, who had established himself some years previ- 
ously. Later William Cochran and family came to Millville, where 
the parents passed the remainder of their days. James W. Cochran, 
the father of J. S. Cochran, was the son of William and Rebecca 
(Morrow) Cochran. He married Mary June Hill, daughter of 
James Hill, who came to Millville about 1811, and had seven chil- 
dren, J. S. being the youngest son. Rebecca Morrow was the 
daughter of John and Mary (Lockhart) Morrow, who also lived in 
Adams county. Pa. They were the parents of six children, of whom 
one, Jeremiah, became famous as governor of Ohio. The Cochran 
family on both sides was known for the rugged honesty of its 
members and it is gratifying to know that the later descendants have 
perpetuated the admirable distinction attained. J. S. Cochran mar- 
ried Mary L. Minton, daughter of Harvey and Florence (Parker) 
Minton. Three children have been born to them — Mary V. ; Eliza- 
beth G. ; and Rebecca Morrow. He is a Presbyterian in religion and a 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 121 

Republican in politics. As an agriculturist he has always kept 
apace with the times and the success which he has had has been 
well merited. 

William Cochran, was born in Ross township, Butler county, 
November 19, 1835, a son of James and Hannah (Wilson) Cochran; 
the former of whom came to Butler county from Pennsylvania. His 
brother, William Cochran, after whom was named the subject of 
this review was one of the early judges of Butler county and was 
known to the district as a man of probity and acumen. William 
Cochran, subject of sketch, married April 21, 1864, Miss Susan 
Whipple, a daughter of James and Susan (Timmerman) Whipple. 
After their marriage the young couple resided for a time on the old 
Whipple farm and then built the present homestead which was 
designed by the wife. Five children were born to them : Maud, 
Martha, Guereldelene, Bertha and Charles. Maud was married to 
John Behl and now lives in Oxford township, having three children, 
Hugh, Margery and Dorothy ; Martha married William Beard, and 
also lives in Oxford township and has two children, Lorena and 
Donald; Guereldelene married James Beard and lives in Hamilton, 
Ohio, and has three children, Mark, Susan and Gladys ; Bertha, who 
married Charles Snively, lives in Oxford, and has two children, 
Eleanor and Ruth ; Charles married Hazel Minton, lives with his 
mother on the home farm, and has one son, James William, born 
February 1, 1919. Mention may here fittingly be made of the 
third generation : Margery, was married to Arthur Myers, lives in 
Oxford township and has two children. Pearl and Arthur ; Hugh 
Behl served his country as an assistant-surgeon in the Navy. 
Lorena Beard was married to Troy Junk and has two children, 
Janet and William. Donald Beard married Virginia Gillespie ; Mark 
Beard, son of Guereldelene (Cochran) Beard, married Rebecca Dick, 
and lives in Morgan township. 

George D. C. Coddington. Inventive genius is a divine gift, and 
its exercise, along useful and humanitarian lines, has done much to 
add to the comfort and happiness of the world. In connection with 
utilitarian inventions, the name of Coddington is one which has 
long been prominent. The late George W. Coddington, whose 
name and memory preserved in the firm of George W. Coddington 
heirs, at West Middletown, was a man of rare genius, and his son, 
George D. C. Coddington, is one whose natural talents and practical 
application of expert knowledge have placed him beyond ordinary 
characterization, in several instances having practically revolu- 
tionized mechanical methods. Mr. Coddington was born at Middle- 
town, Ohio, February 13, 1869, a son of George W. and Ruth J. 
(Doty) Coddington, and is a direct descendant of Daniel Doty, the 
first white settler of Butler county. His paternal grandfather, 
Stephen Coddington, came from Maryland down the Ohio river and 
settled at what is now Cincinnati, then Fort Washington, where 
he followed the trade of mason and also did some freighting down 
the Ohio river. His son, George W. Coddington, was born at 
Cincinnati, and as a young man went to Missouri, but about the 
close of the Civil war came to Middletown and settled on Clinton 



122 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Street. During his residence in Missouri his eyesight had become 
impaired, but upon his recovery he applied himself to the trade 
of mason, and later took up photography. He was likewise 
skilled in the art of violin making, and numerous fine instruments 
came from his little shop, several of which are still in the family 
possession. He early displayed inventive genius, his first practical 
article of value being a patent truck for holding logs in a sawmill. 
Following this came a steam turbine, which also attracted favorable 
attention. His principal invention, however, was a waxed string 
for fruit jars and the machinery to manufacture same, and out of 
this he made a large fortune, following it with a glass fruit jar 
which bears his name. Among his other accomplishments, Mr. 
Coddington was a fancy skater of note and retained his skill in 
this direction until he had passed his seventieth year. He married 
Ruth J. Doty, who was born and reared southeast of Middletown, a 
daughter of Joseph and Mary (Vail) Doty, the former of whom 
was the first proprietor of Middletown and laid out the streets of 
that city. Daniel Doty, the grandfather of Mrs. Coddington, was 
the first settler of Butler county, where he arrived in 1796. He 
commenced his improvements in a dense forest, and built his primi- 
tive log cabin on the banks of the Big Miami, but when it was 
finished had to make his household effects of every kind with which 
to furnish it. This cabin, which was- long a landmark of the com- 
munity, had wooden pegs for nails and a clapboard roof. In later 
life, this pioneer had a more comfortable and commodious home, 
and was one of the respected and influential men of his locality. 
He and his wife were the parents of twelve children, of whom the 
ninth in order of birth was Joseph, who was born at Middletown, 
January 8, 1808. He married Mary Vail, daughter of Samuel Vail, 
who was a brother of Stephen Vail, the first proprietor of Middle- 
town. In the family of George W. Coddington, there were five 
children, of whom two survive : George D. C. ; and Pearl, the wife 
of William Rosscopf, of Imperial valley, Calif. George D. C. Cod- 
dington was educated in the public schools of Middletown, and in 
his youth showed flashes of genius. As he grew to maturity his 
talents developed and he was soon the bearer of a reputation which 
was not confined to his immediate home community. As a youth 
he assisted his father in perfecting the machinery for the manufac- 
ture of the standard wax strings for sealing fruit cans, jars, etc., and 
the capacity of this machine is now 300,000 daily. Later he turned 
his attention to the invention of a submarine vessel, for which he 
made drawings, specifications and a working model. He was then 
a lad of but twenty years, but had faith in his invention, which he 
brought before government officials, only to be treated with the 
indifference that is given a crank or visionary. Returning from the 
east, where he had met with this setback, he decided that his 
ma chine needed further improvements. Later these ideas were 
incorporated in the models of the submarines built by J. P. Holland, 
the "Peacemaker" and the "Holland." Next, Mr. Coddington pro- 
duced a wax-coated paper ring, to take the place of a rubber ring on 
Mason fruit jars, and this he subsequently sold to Ball Brothers, 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 123 

glass manufacturers, for the sum of $20,000. Another utilitarian 
article invented by him is the "helping hand," so named by his son, 
Earl, a device for lifting hot pans or kettles from the stove without 
injury to the hand. Mr. Coddington also invented the rocker 
crashing machine and a sealing wax machine for sealing fruit cans. 
This latter moulded the wax cakes, weighed them and threw out 
the light-weights, removed the cakes from the mold and auto- 
matically put the cakes in cartons, in fact doing everything except 
put them in a shipping case, at the rate of 10,000 per day. This 
patent he sold at a good figure. Mr. Coddington is also a talented 
artist in oil colors, is an expert photographer and a skilled wood 
carver. He is very fond of travel and has visited many of the large 
cities of interest in this and other countries, where he has indulged 
his love of art in some of the famous galleries and his penchant 
for literature in noted libraries. He is a Democrat, but has not 
cared for public life, his greatest pleasure being found in his beauti- 
ful home at West Middletown, which he built several years ago on 
coming to this community from Middletown. October 13, 1889, 
Mr. Coddington married Mary F. B., daughter of John and Mary 
(Saybaugh) Link, and to this union there have been born three 
children: Myrtle R. A., Earl L. and Inez E. Myrtle, who is living 
at Los Angeles, Calif., at the home of her aged grandmother, was 
for five years a teacher at Middletown, two years at Fairfield and 
one year at Dayton. She is at present engaged in the study of 
Osteopathy. Earl L., of Middletown, is an expert automobilist 
and graduate electrician, and the proprietor of the East End Garage. 
He is known as the third inventive genius in the Coddington family, 
his time and mind being applied to the invention of a new type of 
engine, automatic gear shifting and engine starter, all for the im- 
provement of automobiles; in conjunction with these are several 
other inventions underway. He is also a talented musician and 
artist. He married Theresa Ankill, of Middletown. Inez E. was a 
nurse in the Deaconess hospital, Cincinnati, but contemplates taking 
up the study of Osteopathy as a profession. She has inherited her 
father's artistic tastes, and has received commendation and honors 
upon her work in oils. With her parents, she belongs to the Baptist 
church, while Myrtle belongs to the Presbyterian faith and Earl 
L. and wife to the United Brethren denomination. 

Robert K. Coddington. It is not within the capability of every 
man to be successful both as an employee and an emplo3^er. Certain 
characteristics are necessary in order that a man may faithfully 
represent capital and labor. He must be fair in his judgments, up- 
right in his actions, and open to argument, and cautious in making 
decisions until all sides of every question have been presented. It 
is the possession of these qualities that has made Robert K. Cod- 
dington successful in the discharge of his duties in the traffic de- 
partment of the American Rolling Mill company, at Middletown. 
He is a native of Amanda, Ohio, born December 12, 1868, a son of 
James and Nancy (Edwards) Coddington, and a descendant of the 
family to which belonged William Coddington, the founder of the 
colony of Rhode Island. His paternal grandfather was Robert 



124 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Coddington, who married a Miss Sinkey, and his maternal grand- 
father was Samuel Edwards, who came from Maryland to Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio, at an early date in the latter city's history. There 
were seven children in the family of Mr. Coddington's parents : 
Robert K., Samuel, Charles, Rowena, Clinton, William and Charles, 
of whom William is deceased. The father passed away in 1888, and 
the mother survives as a resident of Amanda. Robert K. Codding- 
ton attended the public schools of his native place, and after his 
graduation from the high school began to teach in the country 
schools. From that occupation he went to become agent of the 
C. H. & D. railroad, at West Middletown, but resigned to accept one 
with the Decatur Buggy company. From that concern he trans- 
ferred his services to the American Tobacco company, and subse- 
quently joined the American Rolling Mill, at Middletown, Ohio. 
Mr. Coddington is liberal in his political views, and his religious 
faith is that of the Methodist church. December 25, 1894, he mar- 
ried Miss Jennie Gillespie, who is still a woman of striking beauty 
and of lovely personality. She was born at Franklin, Ohio, October 
22, 1869, a daughter of the late Capt. J. W. A. and Henrietta 
(Wilkinson) Gillespie. Captain Gillespie was born in Muskingum 
county, Ohio, February 19, 1837, a son of James and Catherine 
Gillespie, and was married at Franklin to Henrietta Wilkinson, who 
was born April 26, 1842, at Franklin, daughter of Richard and Mary 
Jane Wilkinson. He was in the Union service from April 19, 1861, 
to January 1, 1865, served as storekeeper for the United States 
Government for six months in 1868, and was sergeant-at-arms of 
the G. A. R. Post at Columbus, Ohio, for a number of years. His 
death occurred at Middletown. He and his wife were the parents of 
five children : Edwin P., Frank, Jennie T., William F. and Robert 
Y. An elder brother of Captain Gillespie, William C. B. Gillespie, 
was captain and later major of the 41st Illinois Volunteers, and was 
subsequently on stafif duty with Generals Pugh and Custer. George, 
another brother, fought with the 9th Ohio Cavalry. Mr. and Mrs. 
Coddington have reared a most interesting family of children. Paul 
Edward fought as a member of the United States Marines for two 
years and four months and while in France, June 8, 1918, was 
wounded by a machine-gun bullet in the head and right arm, while 
in the engagement of Belleau Wood. His cousin, Frohman Gilles- 
pie and Uncle Charles Coddington, also were in the U. S. service. 
Thelma, the elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Coddington, is a gradu- 
ate of the Middletown High school, and volunteered as a Red Cross 
nurse. Marian Loeta, the younger daughter, is also a graduate of 
Middletown High school and also attended Monmouth college. She 
is splendidly gifted with dramatic talent, and while she has never 
trod the professional boards her services are constantly in demand 
in amateur entertainments and home talent theatricals. She is self- 
supporting, being employed in the office of the American Rolling 
Mill company. Kyle, the younger son and youngest child, is a 
member of the sophomore class at the Middletown High school. 

Robert Coman Cogswell has been identified with lumber in- 
terests since the commencement of his career in business affairs and 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 12S 

for some years has been a resident of Hamilton, where he is a mem- 
ber of the firm and secretary of the Vaughn Building company. 
Mr. Cogswell was born at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 28, 1887, a son 
of C. E. and Zarina E. (Coman) Cogswell. The Cogswell family 
originated in England, whence they emigrated to the United States 
in 1635, the founder here being Sir John Cogswell who secured 
a grant of land in Massachusetts. Members of this family were 
prominent in the afifairs of the nation in the early days, both 
political and military, and those bearing the name have been honor- 
able men and women in the various professions and vocations of 
life. G. E. Cogswell was born in Pennsylvania, but subsequently 
went to LeRoy, N. Y., where he was married, and later moved to 
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He and his wife were the parents of three 
children : Robert C. ; George O., president and manager of the 
Cogswell Building company of Springfield, Ohio ; and E. R., district 
manager for the Bell Telephone company, of Springfield, 111. 
Robert C. Cogswell attended the graded school at Waukegan, 111., 
and the high school at Champaign, that state, and then entered 
the University of Illinois, from which he was duly graduated. Fol- 
lowing his graduation he went to Lafayette, 111., where he became 
assistant manager for the Henry Taylor Lumber company, and 
when he resigned from that firm it was to come to Hamilton, here 
he became manager of the yard of the West Side Lumber company. 
Subsequently he was with the Cullen- Vaughn company, construc- 
tors, and finally formed a partnership with Mr. Vaughn of that 
concern, and became secretary of the Vaughn Building company, 
which post he still retains. This concern has been one of the most 
successful of its kind at Hamilton and has engaged in a number 
of large construction works, prominent among which is the erection 
of the mammoth Ford plant at Hamilton. April 8, 1916, Mr. Cogs- 
well was united in marriage with Louise, daughter of W. M. Ding- 
felder, of Hamilton, and to this union there has come one son: 
Robert Coman, jr., born March 22, 1917. The pleasant family home 
is situated at No. 110 Elvin avenue. 

Elmer J. Combs. During the past sixteen years one of the in- 
dustrious and reliable citizens of Middletown has been Elmer J. 
Combs, who is successfully engaged in business as a carpenter con- 
tractor. He was born at Washington Court House, Ohio, a son 
of Joseph and Elizabeth (Nichols) Combs. The Combs family of 
this branch was founded in America by the great-grandfather of 
Mr. Combs, who emigrated from Scotland to the colony of Virginia, 
and in 1725 moved to the frontier of Kentucky. There, in 1779, was 
born the grandfather of Elmer J. Combs, a fact which was dis- 
covered by the latter's son, Carl E., who while on a visit to Union 
Hall, Ky., found an old Family Bible, in which was entered the date 
of his great-grandfather's birth. The maternal grandparents of 
Elmer J. Combs came from Maryland and settled near Frankfort, 
Ross county, Ohio, at an early day. His father died in 1882, and 
his mother June 2, 1918, aged eighty-four years. Elmer J. Combs 
received a public school education and as a youth applied himself to 
learning the carpenter's trade. He was a resident of Washington 



126 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Court House until 1903, in which year he came to Middletown, and 
here is now the owner of a pretty, modern home on Baltimore 
street. For some years he was employed by the Middletown 
Lumber company and Caldwell & Iseminger, but eventually em- 
barked in business on his own account as a carpenter contractor, 
and since that time has met with excellent success. He is a skilled 
and reliable workman, able in his calling and trustworthy in living 
up to the letter of his contracts, and has won and held the confidence 
of his associates and the public at large. January 30, 1887, Mr. 
Combs married at Washington Court House, Rose Etta, daughter 
of John and Cynthia Ellen (Brown) Shierer, and granddaughter 
of Isaiah and Elizabeth Shierer, who came from Virginia after the 
close of the Civil war and in 1877 settled in Preble county, Ohio. 
Two of Mrs. Combs' uncles were killed while fighting as soldiers 
during the Civil war. In the family of John and Cynthia E. Shierer 
there were nine children : Willie ; Cora Jane, now Mrs. Frank Wade, 
of Pennsylvania ; Ida May, the widow of Robert Pierce, of Oxford, 
Ohio; Mary Sylvia, now Mrs. C. DuVal, of Middletown; Rose Etta, 
the wife of Elmer J. Combs; Myrtle Elizabeth, the wife of R. Stew- 
art, of Middletown ; Eunice, the wife of Daniel Doty, of Franklin ; 
Bessie, the wife of Henry Johnson, of Middletown ; and Charles, of 
this city. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Combs: 
Carl Edward, of whom more later ; Earl, deceased ; Harry Cleve- 
land; Francis Clyde, who married Margaret Root; Charles; Eliza- 
beth Ellen, deceased ; Leslie, who married Grace Sharritt ; Nora 
Pauline, deceased; and Philip LeRoy, who died in infancy. Carl 
Edward Combs was educated in the public schools of Frankfort, 
Ohio, and came to Middletown from Washington Court House with 
his parents in 1903. Here he successfully passed the U. S. Civil 
Service examination, and for the past several years has been em- 
ployed as a clerk at the Middletown postoffice. He is a young man 
of studious habits and patriotic impulses, and is very popular in his 
home city. He was married September 1, 1906, to Lillian, daughter 
of David and Anna (Esselman) Rodgers, of Clermont county, Ohio, 
and they have three children : Veatrice, Ruth and Elmer. Mr. 
Combs is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Junior Order 
of United American Mechanics. Charles Combs enlisted in the 
United States Marines, May 7, 1917, and was sent to Paris Island, 
S. C, where he was subsequently attached to the 44th U. S. Marine 
Corps, and sent to Santo Domingo as a gunner. He was granted 
a furlough and visited his parents' home at Middletown, and shortly 
after his return to Santo Domingo was stricken with Spanish in- 
fluenza and died February 24, 1919. The following token of kindly 
consideration from one associated with him in his country's service, 
shows the high esteem in which this brave and valiant young soldier 
was held by those who knew him : "Marine Barracks, Hato Mayor, 
D. R., February 25, 1919. My Dear Mr. Combs : I regret exceeding- 
ly to inform you, unofficially, of the death of your son Charles. As 
the medical officer of the command here it was my privilege to 
know Charles very well, and I assure you of my heartfelt sympathy, 
as I feel that I, too, have suffered a personal loss. It might not be 




FRANK W. COMl'T(.)\ 




MRS. FRANK W. COMPTOX 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 127 

amiss to tell you that among the men of his company he was one 
of the best liked and most popular, and was known as being a good 
chum, a man to be depended on. Charles was brought to the hos- 
pital to me on the 18th of February with a high temperature and the 
usual symptoms of Spanish influenza. He became progressively 
worse, and although we gave him, as you will understand, the best 
of care and never left him alone for a moment, despite all our efforts 
he died yesterday at 4:45 p. m. He was conscious up to the last 
moment and suffered no pain, his passing away being very tranquil. 
Again assuring you of my heartfelt sympathy, I am, Sincerely yours, 
Walter L. Deemer, Lieutenant, M. C. U. S. Navy." Following this 
tribute came another from "We, the fellows of the 44th Company," 
in which they expressed over their signatures "our deepest sorrow 
over the death of your beloved son." The young soldier's remains 
were brought back to Middletown, in March, 1919, where they were 
given burial with full military honors. 

Frank Wilson Compton. Four generations of the Compton 
family have tilled the soil of the Miami valley and the properties 
favored by their occupancy invariably have borne the stamp of 
thoroughness, method and success. A worthy representative of 
the family name, and one who has maintained its best traditions, is 
Frank Wilson Compton, owner of the Loyal Stock farm in Lemon 
township, Butler county, who has not only been successful as an 
agriculturist but is also prominently known in the grain trade, with 
an elevator at Oakland Station. Mr. Compton was born on a farm 
in Turtle Creek township, Warren county, O., September 8, 1875, 
a son of James E. Compton. His paternal grandfather, Enoch D. 
Compton, was born at Mount Healthy, Hamilton county, and fol- 
lowing his marriage to Martha P. McClellan of Butler county 
became an early settler of Franklin township, Warren county, where 
he bought a new farm. This he cleared and cultivated, made many 
improvements, and continued to occupy as an agriculturist during 
the rest of his life. He and his wife were the parents of eight 
children, as follows : Sarah E., who is unmarried and makes her 
residence on the old home place in Warren county; Ann, who is 
deceased; Jane, deceased, who was the wife of E. B. Harkrader; 
James E. ; Charles, who prior to his death was a Butler county 
farmer; Catherine, of Lemon township, the widow of William 
Lackens ; John W., a resident of Trinidad, Colorado; and Frank M., 
an attorney of Dayton. James E. Compton was given the ad- 
vantages of only a common school education, as his youth and 
boyhood were passed in a new country where almost primitive 
conditions as to education still existed. Following his marriage he 
located on a farm in Warren county, and through his natural in- 
dustry, his fine ability and his good business management became 
one of the large farmers and stock growers of his locality, having 
a splendidly cultivated and highly improved farm in Turtle Creek 
township. He raised Clydesdale horses for the market and ex- 
hibited them at fairs, and his judgment in regard to all kinds of 
live stock was considered so sound that he was frequently called 
upon for advice and counsel in matters pertaining to that industry. 



128 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

He was a voter of the Republican persuasion, was active in church 
work, and for many years was an elder in the United Presbyterian 
church at Monroe. He died in 1906 at the age of fifty-two years, his 
widow surviving him until 1918, when she passed away at the age 
of sixty-seven years. They were the parents of three children, 
namely : Frank Wilson, of this notice ; Henrietta, who married W. 
D. Ralston, a farmer of Lemon township, Butler county ; and Harry 
J., an attorney of Dayton, who died in 1912 at the age of thirty-two 
years. Frank Wilson Compton was educated in the public schools 
of Warren county, where he was reared as a farmer's son and taught 
all the principles of agriculture. He was married in 1894 and in 
that same year located in Lemon township, where he farmed one 
property for seven years, then; in 1912, buying what was then known 
as the Alexander farm, but now known as the Loyal Stock Farm, a 
tract of 101 acres lying at Oakland Station. While Mr. Compton 
has done some general farming, he has concentrated the greater 
part of his industrious energies in stock breeding, his favorites being 
Shorthorn cattle, Poland China hogs and Percheron horses. He is 
widely known throughout his part of Butler county, and wherever 
his acquaintance extends is regarded as an upright and worthy man, 
and one of the foremost representatives of the agricultural element 
in his section. He commands the esteem and confidence of all who 
come in contact with him in the daily walks of life. In 1912 Mr. 
Compton embarked in the grain business, handling all kinds of 
grain, coal and fencing, and in 1917 built his present elevator, of 
6,000 bushels capacity, at Oakland. The high confidence in which 
Mr. Compton is held is shown in the fact that he is trustee for the 
J. E. Compton estate and agent for the E. D. Compton estate. He 
takes only a voter's interest in political affairs, his support being 
given to the Republican party. September 4, 1894, Mr. Compton 
was married to Miss Mary Baird, of Lemon township, a daughter of 
Joseph H. and Sarah (Banker) Baird, the latter of whom is deceased, 
while the former, a retired farmer, is a resident of Middletown. 
Mrs. Compton is a Baptist of the old school, while Mr. Compton 
belongs to the United Presbyterian church at Monroe and actively 
interested in church work. 

William H. Compton. By reason of the quality and broad 
extent of his community helpfulness, his business and financial en- 
terprise, acumen and soundness and his closeness to the funda- 
mental requirements of good citizenship, William H. Compton, in 
his career, has furnished an encouraging example of success attained 
through the proper application of ordinary opportunities. Mr. 
Compton, who is president of the Monroe National bank, prom- 
inently connected with other large enterprises, and an extensive 
farmer and stock breeder in Butler county, was born at Glendale, 
Hamilton county, O., June 28, 1859, a son of Wilson M. and Eliza- 
beth (Hunt) Compton. Elias Compton, the grandfather of William 
H., was born in New Jersey, where he was married to Bershabe 
Hill, also a native of that state. They were early settlers in Hamilton 
county, O., locating near Glendale, where the grandfather secured 
land and developed a farm. There he and his worthy wife passed 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 129 

the remainder of their lives in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture. 
They were the parents of the following children : Enoch, Ezeriah, 
Joseph, Charles, Samuel, Wilson M., Mary Ann and Phoebe. 
Wilson M. Compton was born at Mount Healthy, O., and grew up 
in Hamilton county, where he received a common school education. 
In his native community he was united in marriage with Elizabeth 
Hunt, who was born near Trenton, N. J., a daughter of Randolph 
and Martha Hunt, natives of New Jersey and early settlers of 
Hamilton county, where they passed their lives as tillers of the 
soil. There were the following children in the Hunt family : Noah, 
Israel, Henry, Charles, Rachel, Elizabeth and Martha. In 1860 
Wilson M. Compton came to Butler county and settled on the farm 
now occupied by his son. An arduous task confronted him, for the 
land was practically a swamp and the house located thereon was 
set upon stilts. He at first secured eighty acres, and with charac- 
teristic industry started about draining and clearing it, his labors 
eventuating in the development of a valuable and productive prop- 
erty. To his original holdings he added over 100 acres, and as the 
years passed he built a comfortable and commodious home, a 
substantial barn and good outbuildings, and made numerous other 
improvements which added to the value and attractiveness of the 
farm. During the rest of his life he carried on general farming, and 
at the time of his death in 1908, when he was eighty-one years of 
age, he was one of the well-to-do men of his locality. He was a 
public-spirited citizen and a man of high moral principles, and for 
some years was an elder in the Presbyterian church at Monroe, of 
which his wife, who died in 1895, at the age of fifty-six years, was 
also a member. They were the parents of four children : Elias, 
educated in the home schools, the normal school at Lebanon, Prince- 
ton university, and Wooster (Ohio) university, from which he was 
graduated, and for many years dean of the last-named instiution, 
married Ottillia Augsperger, and had four children — Karl, Mary, 
Wilson and Arthur; William H., of this review; Charles, educated 
in the home schools and at Princeton university, and now cor- 
responding secretary of Wooster university, married Elizabeth 
White and has five children — Martha, Lelia, William, Mary and 
Charles ; and Anna, the wife of Charles E. Greismer, of Hamilton. 
William H. Compton received his education in the home schools 
of the Monroe community, and throughout his career has been 
identified with agricultural pursuits and has made his home in the 
country. During the past twenty years he has been a breeder of 
thoroughbred Southdown sheep, which have won fame, prizes and 
ribbons at various fairs, having been exhibited in Ohio, Kentucky, 
Indiana, Michigan, New York and elsewhere. For the past ten 
years Mr. Compton has also been a breeder of Shorthorn cattle, 
mixed hogs and Percheron horses, and few men are conceded to be 
better informed as to all kinds of livestock. Mr. Compton is a 
student of his vocation, keeping fully abreast of all developing 
movements, and is an enthusiastic Granger and a member of the 
Franklin Farmers' club. While he has been prominent as a breeder 
of stock, he has likewise been active and prominent in business and 

9 



130 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

financial affairs and is accounted by his associates to be possessed 
of high ability in these directions. He was one of the organizers 
of the Monroe National bank, of Monroe, O., which was founded in 
1905 with a capital of $25,000, and of which Mr. Compton has been 
president for fourteen years, the other officials being at this time: 
William M. Stewart, vice-president; H. Q. Galahar, second vice- 
president; and S. K. Hughes, F. M. Hughes, C. S. Longstreet, W. P. 
Henderson and A. T. Smith, directors. Mr. Compton was also one 
of the organizers of the Butler County Canning company, of Mon- 
roe, organized and incorporated in 1914, the following officials now 
governing its affairs: William M. Stewart, president; and A. T. 
Smith, C. S. Longstreet, Freeman Smith and William H. Compton, 
directors and sole owners. Of Mr. Compton it may be said that his 
life work is a response to both his early teachings and to the needs 
of his environment. From the time that he entered upon his inde- 
pendent career, he has laboriously climbed every rung of the ladder 
of success, and in his various capacities invests his occupations with 
good judgment and unquestioned integrity, which far-sighted quali- 
ties have insured him a permanent place among the substantial 
upbuilders of his community. He is an elder in the United Presby- 
terian church, and votes the Republican ticket. Mrs. Compton, who 
is also prominent and popular in the. locality, has been active in all 
manner of religious and charitable work, particularly as a member 
of the Missionary society and the Red Cross. Mr. Compton was 
married January 5, 1881, to Miss Ann M. Van Dyke, who was born 
at Middletown, O., daughter of I. N. and Caroline Van Dyke, the 
former a native of Warren county, O., and the latter of New Jersey. 
Mr. Van Dyke was a carpenter and farmer and is now deceased. 
Mr. and Mrs. Compton are the parents of three children : Bertha, 
the wife of E. D. Curryer, living one mile east of Middletown ; 
Harry L., superintendent of the A. R. M. Co., married Cecelia 
Mulford; and W. Elmer, at home, a graduate of the agricultura^ 
department of Ohio State university, and married to Miss Helen 
Roberts of Franklin township, Warren county, O. 

George Conrad, one of the successful farmers of Fairfield town- 
ship, Butler county, Ohio, was born in Cincinnati, December 25, 
18to, son of John and Elizabeth (Meerman) Conrad. John Conrad 
and wife were born in Germany and were married in that country. 
Upon coming to the United States, they settled first in Cincinnati, 
then came to Butler county and located near St. Charles, later 
removing to Fairfield township. John Conrad is still living in 
Fairfield township and makes his home with one of his children, his 
wife being deceased. Their children were : Joseph, George, subject 
of this sketch ; Jacob, Andrew, Mary, Mrs. William Konrad of 
Hamilton ; Fred, Catherine, Mrs. George Groh, of Fairfield town- 
ship; and John. John Conrad, wife and children were devout 
Catholics, and for many years worshiped in St. Joseph's church at 
Hamilton. George Conrad, our subject, was educated in the 
common schools of Butler county, and as boy and young man, 
worked on the farm. He was married September 14, 1898, to Mary 
Strait, the daughter of John and Amelia (Haberman) Streit, of Cin- 




WILLIAM P. COPE 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 131 

cinnati. John and Amelia Streit moved to Butler county and located 
in Hamilton. They had six children : Mary, wife of subject ; Pauline, 
Mrs. Anthony Duellman ; John, Michael, Edward, George. Mr. 
Streit is deceased and Mrs. Streit is living in Hamilton. After their 
marriage, Mr. Conrad and wife lived in Hamilton, where he worked 
at the carpenter trade, a knowledge of which he had acquired in 
his youth, but the call of the farm was too pronounced, and he soon 
returned to the country. In 1914, he came into possession of the 
place known as the Len Jones farm, in Fairfield township, which 
has since been his family home. The farm consists of 100 acres, 
and the soil is fertile and productive, and under careful, intelligent 
and systematic management, has become a very valuable property. 
Mr. and Mrs. Conrad had five children, one of whom died in infancy. 
The others : Hilda, Sylvester, Andrew and George. Mr. Conrad 
gave cordial support to the various war activities and cheerfully 
"did his bit." He and his entire family are Catholics and worship 
at St. Ann's church. Mr. Conrad belongs to the Knights of 
St. John and the Moose order, and votes with the Democratic 
party. 

William P. Cope, now deceased was for many years prominent- 
ly associated with educational work in Butler county, and for nearly 
a quarter of a century was principal of the Hamilton High school, 
where the results of his elevated ideals and excellent methods are 
still felt. He was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, in March, 1850, 
a son of Simon and Rachel (Prithett) Cope, and their only child, 
his mother being the second wife of his father. Simon Cope was 
born in Pennsylvania, and his wife was a native of New Jersey, and 
both were of Quaker stock. At a very early day they came to Colum- 
biana county, O., where he engaged in farming, and there they both 
died. William P. Cope attended the schools of Alliance, O., and 
then secured his A. B. and A. M. degrees from Hiram college, and 
his Ph. D. degree from the college at Wooster, O. The first ex- 
perience of Mr. Cope as an educator was secured at Burton, in 
Monroe county, O., at Woodsfield, and at Cleveland, O. Then, in 
1885, he came to Hamilton, and was elected principal of the high 
school, and held that position for twenty-four years, during that 
period making a magnificant record which will stand as a lasting 
monument to his scholarly attainments and his fidelity to the 
responsibilities laid on his shoulders. He was a man who expanded 
with his times. Never content to rest upon the laurels already 
gained, he sought in every way to inaugurate new methods and 
include extra studies which would tend to better fit his young 
charges for their life work. A man of sympathetic tendencies, he 
easily gained the confidence of his pupils, while his dignity and 
knowledge won and held their absolute respect, so that his influence 
over their plastic minds was exceedingly strong, and very beneficial. 
When he died, January 1, 1915, the rising generation of Hamilton 
lost one who would have assisted very efficiently in guiding and 
training the as yet unformed characters of those who in the natural 
course of events would have been placed in his charge. While at 
Hiram, O., Mr. Cope was united in marriage, in 1878, to Miss Rose 



132 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Tilden, a daughter of D. C. and Catherine (Vroman) Tilden, of 
Herkimer county, N. Y., who came west to Hiram, O., in 1854, and 
were engaged as farming people in developing a valuable property 
in the vicinity of Hiram. Mr. Tilden died in 1868, his widow sur- 
viving him for many years, passing away when she had attained the 
venerable age of eighty-five years. Mr. Tilden was very active in 
politics, supporting the candidates and principles of the Democratic 
party, and he was a well-known man throughout his county. Mr. 
and Mrs. Tilden had three children, namely : Rose, who is Mrs. 
Cope ; Ella, who is Mrs. Mark Davis of Cincinnati, Ohio ; and 
George, who is a business man of Hiram, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Cope 
became the parents of two children, namely : De Witt and Ella Mae. 
The son after attending Amherst college and Harvard university, 
was admitted to the bar, and is engaged in the practice of his profes- 
sion at Boston, Mass. He was married to Gertrude Qunio, and they 
have one son, William. The daughter attended Mt. Holyoke col- 
lege, from which she was graduated in 1907, following which she 
became a teacher in the Hamilton High school, where she has re- 
mained ever since, specializing in history. She is highly educated, 
and an active and appreciated member of the Teachers' Club of 
Hamilton. Mr. Cope was a Blue Lodge and Chapter Mason, and 
was treasurer of the Hamilton Chapter for many years. His social 
connections were with the Unity club, of which he was a member for 
twenty-five years. Like his father-in-law, the Democratic party 
held his allegiance, and, although he did not desire office, he always 
was active in local affairs. While he was so useful a man in his com- 
munity, Mr. Cope's best characteristics were after all displayed in 
his home, and he gave to his wife and children a devotion that was 
ideal, also eminently practical. Taking him from every viewpoint, 
Mr. Cope measured up to the highest standards of American man- 
hood, and many of the leading citizens of Hamilton, and other 
communities, who had the good fortune to attend the schools over 
which he presided, owe much of their present material advance- 
ment and mental development to his fostering care and upright 
example. 

Fred W. Cormier, who for more than a quarter of a century has 
been one of the leading and well known undertakers of Oxford, was 
born at Oxford, August 12, 1876, a son of Frederick and Odella 
(Courtemanche) Cormier, natives of Canada, who came to College 
Corner, Ohio, in 1860, and to Oxford in 1862. Frederick Cormier 
was a cabinet maker by trade and conducted a shop at Oxford until 
1887, in which year he engaged in the retail liquor business, with 
which he was identified until 1905. He then retired from active 
affairs and died February 14, 1914, at the age of seventy-four years. 
He was a business man of marked good judgment, and invested to 
a considerable extent in realty in Oxford, among his holdings being 
the building at the corner of High and Beech streets, of which he 
was the builder. He was a staunch Democrat and a faithful mem- 
ber of St. Mary's Catholic church. Mr. and Mrs. Cormier were the 
parents of four children : Odella, who died April 1, 1892, as the wife 
of Jacob Berry ; Horace D., who was a wagon maker and undertaker 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 133 

and died November 20, 1910; Amanda, who died October 10, 1910, 
as the wife of George Free ; and Fred W. Fred W. Cormier obtained 
his early education in the Oxford graded and high schools and after 
his graduation from the latter enrolled as a student at Miami uni- 
versity, where he completed his course in 1894. In that year he em- 
barked in business with his father, with whom he continued until 
the latter's retirement, and then for two years was variously em- 
ployed. In 1907 he started his present business as a funeral di- 
rector, and since then has built up a patronage among the best fam- 
ilies of the city, who have come to regard him as a man of much 
sympathy and exceedingly painstaking in his care for their dead. 
For a time Mr. Cormier was also engaged in the grocery business at 
Oxford, but has since disposed of his interests in this direction. As 
a citizen he has been a ready supporter of good and progressive 
movements, and as a politician votes with the Democrat party, and 
in his various civic connections and business interests and in every 
avenue of life has shown himself a man of high principles. With 
Mrs. Cormier, he belongs to St. Mary's Catholic church of Oxford, 
and has contributed to its moral and charitable enterprises. May 14, 
1902, Mr. Cormier was united in marriage with Miss Rosa A. Van 
Ness, a former resident of Shelbyville, Ind. They have no children. 
Harry Edson Comthwaite, whose ownership of 240 acres of 
productive Butler county farming land places him in the substantial 
agricultural class of his community, has been a resident of Wayne 
township throughout his life, and both as a progressive farmer and 
a public-spirited citizen has contributed to the growth of the lo- 
cality interests. Mr. Cornthwaite was born in St. Clair township, at 
Overpeck Station, December 22, 1869, a son of Frank Cornthwaite. 
The paternal grandfather of Mr. Cornthwaite, Frank Cornthwaite 
the elder, was born in England, and as a small boy came from the 
family home at Kendal to the United States, with his parents, the 
family settling at Trenton, Ohio, among the first settlers of that com- 
munity. Letters written from friends in England, bearing the date 
of 1789, and with the regular 25 cents postage fee attached, are now 
in the possession of Harry E. Cornthwaite, and are in a good state 
of preservation. Locating west of Trenton, the family secured Gov- 
ernment land, on which they erected a brick house which remains as 
one of the landmarks of the locality, and there the grandfather con- 
tinued to follow the pursuits of agriculture until his death, April 27, 
1867. He was first married April 13, 1820, to Mary Cowgill, who 
was born January 6, 1798, and died June 28, 1828, and his second 
wife, with whom he was united June 25, 1829, was Peggy Bone, born 
July 16, 1805, who died May 1, 1883. There were six children in the 
family of Frank and Mary Cornthwaite, namely : Jane, born Jan- 
uary 30, 1821, who married Israel Carr and died September 23, 1841 ; 
Isabelle, born August 4, 1822, who married Stephen Carr and died 
April 19, 1842; Thomas, born March 1, 1824, married Rhoda Kerr; 
Elizabeth, born October 10, 1825 ; Sarah Ann, born February 14, 
1827, married a Mr. Peck; and Mary, born June 21, 1828, married 
Reading Busenbark. By his second marriage, Mr. Cornthwaite had 
eight children : Robert Lytle, born November 8, 1830, married a 



134 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Miss Good ; Samuel Elander, born October 2, 1834 ; William Henry, 
born September 13, 1837, married Tabitha Williams, and died No- 
vember 23, 1861, his wife dying December 2, 1864; Francis, father 
of Harry E., born April 11, 1840; David, born February 26, 1842, at 
Somerville, Ohio, a farmer, married a Miss Judy; Augustus, born 
September 17, 1844; John, who died at the age of fifty-seven years; 
and Edward, who died aged eighty-one years. The father of 
Harry E. Cornthwaite, Francis Cornthwaite, was born April 11, 
1840, and was educated at Trenton. He was married Febru- 
ary 11, 1869, to Rebecca Isabelle Patten, who was born October 
30, 1848, and following their union located at Overpeck, in 
which community he was engaged in farming for nine years. Re- 
moving then to Wayne township, he settled on the farm now occu- 
pied by his son, the old Thomas place, in section 23, where he se- 
cured eighty acres and continued to apply himself to the pursuits of 
tilling the soil and reaping the harvests. He carried on general 
farming, operated a threshing outfit, and also bought and sold stock, 
being remarkably successful in all his undertakings, due no doubt 
to his great industry, his good management, and the confidence 
which he inspired in his associates through his strict integrity. He 
died August 31, 1885, on his farm, which was occupied by his widow 
until March, 1899, when she located at Seven Mile, subsequently 
moving to her present home at Trenton, Ohio, where she died May 
1, 1919. She was a faithful member of the Presbyterian church. 
While Mr. Cornthwaite was a stalwart Republican he never desired 
public office. The only child of his parents, Harry E. Cornthwaite 
received his education in the local public schools, and has always 
lived at home, having been the occupant of his present farm for 
forty-one years. He now has a property of 240 acres, which he is 
operating in a skilled and successful manner, and this property has 
been highly cultivated and made greatly valuable through the erec- 
tion of substantial and attractive buildings and the installment of 
modern improvements. In addition to carrying on general farming, 
he raises all kinds of live stock, including horses, cattle and hogs, 
and operates a threshing outfit during the season, in addition to which 
he was for eight years engaged in the butchering business. He is an 
energetic and progressive man, always ready to give a trial to any 
innovation which promises to make a step forward in agricultural 
standards. His political beliefs make him a Republican, and for 
two terms he served capably in the office of assessor. Formerly he 
was a member of the Knights of Pythias at Seven Mile. Mr. Cornth- 
waite was married September 15, 1891, to Emma Elisa, daughter of 
Martin and Ann (Schull) Goebel, farming people of Madison town- 
ship, Butler county, who lived southeast of Hamilton, where both 
died. To Mr. and Mrs. Cornthwaite there have been born seven 
children: Frank, born March 7, 1894, who married Anna Marie 
King, and is a farmer in Wayne township, and also follows the oc- 
cupation of threshing; Gordon, born October 21, 1896, in the United 
States Army, Eighteenth Regiment, F. A. R. D., Battery F, Camp 
Jackson, S. C. ; Lee G., born May 21, 1899, now with the Rock 
Island Plow company as an expert on plowing ; Mildred, born Aug- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 135 

ust 9, 1901, attended a commercial college at Hamilton and is now 
with the First National bank of Hamilton ; Wilbur G., bom Sep- 
tember 9, 1903; George G., born January 20, 1907; and Glenn, born 
December 26, 1910. The children have all been given good educa- 
tional advantages in the home schools. 

Joseph Pitman Cory. Among the highly respected retired citi- 
zens of Seven Mile, none is held in higher esteem than Joseph 
Pitman Cory. A veteran of the Civil war, in which he rendered his 
country brave and faithful service, he was subsequently for many 
years one of the leading agriculturists of Butler county, and during 
his active years a promoter of his community's best interests. Mr. 
Cory was born at New Carlisle, O., November 2, 1840, a son of Aaron 
H. and Lucy Ann (Pitman) Cory, a grandson of Thomas Cory, also 
born at New Carlisle, and a member of a family of English and 
Scotch extraction. On the maternal side he is a grandson of Joseph 
Pitman, of New Jersey, who was an early settler of New Carlisle, 
Ohio, in which community he spent many years as a farmer. Joseph 
Pitman's children were : Daniel, George, Aaron, Samuel, William, 
Lydia M., Joseph, John, Lucy Ann and Maria. Aaron H. Cory was 
born at New Carlisle, and was given only a limited education, but 
was a man of natural gifts, intelligent, shrewd and of good judg- 
ment. He was a young man when he changed his residence to Car- 
lisle, whence, in 1849, upon the discovery of gold in California, he 
went to the Pacific coast, working his way via the Isthmus of Pana- 
ma. Soon discerning that only a small minority could hope to gain 
their fortunes through mining, he joined his brother, David, in the 
stock business, first at Jamaica and later at the gold fields in Cali- 
fornia, and during the two years that he carried on trading with the 
mining camps managed to accumulate the sum of $10,000. Return- 
ing via Cape Horn, he located again at Carlisle, but soon went to 
Muncie, Ind., where he purchased 400 acres of land. After residing 
in that community for six years he sold out and again located at 
Carlisle, where he purchased a farm, and a saw and gristmill, but 
after several years disposed of his interests and again went to Mun- 
cie, where he continued to be engaged in the hotel business until his 
death in 1873, his widow surviving him seven years. She was a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics, Mr. Cory was 
originally a Whig and later a Republican. There were four chil- 
dren in the family : Joseph Pitman ; Winfield Scott, who enlisted in 
the 110th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in the Army of the Potomac, 
under General Kiefer, served three years, was taken prisoner at 
Cedar Creek and after confinement in prison of over a year was so 
weakened that it was necessary to carry him out to the Union lines, 
but subsequently recovered and located at Indianapolis, Ind., where 
his death occurred in 1917; William, an awning manufacturer of 
Carlisle, O., and Muncie, Ind., and died November 3, 1916; and 
Laura, who resides at Union, Ind. Joseph Pitman Cory attended 
the public schools of Muncie, Ind., and Linden Hill academy, and at 
the outbreak of the Civil war, in April, 1861, enlisted at Carlisle, in 
the Sixteenth Ohio Battery. Sent to St. Louis, his battery was then 
transferred to Jefiferson City, Mo., where it remained from Septem- 



136 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

ber 5 to December 25, and later took part in the Vicksburg campaign 
under General Grant, in the Army of the Tennessee. Later the bat- 
tery went to New Orleans and on nearly to Brownsville, Tex., 
whence Mr. Cory returned to his home on a furlough, and in the 
spring of 1864 Mr. Cory and three comrades were sent to Carlisle 
on recruiting duty, Mr. Cory succeeding in securing forty new men 
for the battery. Later he returned to New Orleans and rejoined his 
command, with which he served until the close of the war, being 
mustered out at Columbus after a service of four years and five 
months, and receiving his honorable discharge at Camp Chase, Sep- 
tember 5, 1865. His service was one characterized by faithful per- 
formance of duty and the utmost bravery in action, and during the 
last two years he acted as orderly sergeant. Following the close of 
his military service, Mr. Cory located at Miltonville, O., where his 
father owned land, and remained three years. During this time. 
September 26, 1866, he married Susie K., daughter of Henry and 
Catherine (Husk) Snively, natives of Pennsylvania who had come 
to Butler county as young people, and after their marriage located 
on a farm in section 26, Wayne township. There the first wife died 
at the age of forty-five years, and Mr. Snively took for his second 
wife a Mrs. Wells, who died in 1871, Mr. Snively surviving until 
1878, and being seventy-four years of age at the time of his demise. 
He was the father of eight children, all by his first union, and of 
these three survive : Samuel, of Elwood, Ind. ; Mrs. Cory ; and Maria 
E., the wife of H. H. Long, of Hamilton, O. For about three years 
after his marriage, Mr. Cory was engaged in the flour and sawmill 
business at Miltonville, and then engaged in farming for three years 
on a property of his own. Eventually he located on the old Snively 
farm in Wayne township, on which he carried on successful opera- 
tions for a period of twenty-nine years, retiring to Seven Mile in 
1914. During his active years, Mr. Cory was known as one of the 
most progressive agriculturists of his county and was always ready 
to try new inventions and innovations. He purchased the first 
cream separator in his neighborhood, at one time owned one of the 
finest herds of Jersey cattle in the Miami valley, and in various other 
ways demonstrated his modern spirit. His reputation throughout 
life has been that of an honorable business man and a patriotic and 
public-spirited citizen. He still takes interest in the Grand Army of 
the Republic and the Union Veterans' League, and is a contributor 
to religious and charitable work as a member of the Missionary 
society of the Presbyterian church. Both he and Mrs. Cory are 
greatly esteemed in their community, where they have hosts of 
warm friends. 

Elmer H. Coulter. Butler county has many skilled farmers who 
treat their vocation more as a profession than as an occupation and 
take a justifiable pride in their accomplishments, and among these 
may be mentioned Elmer H. Coulter, one of the prominent agricul- 
turists of Oxford township. Mr. Coulter was born at College Cor- 
ner, Ohio, May 14, 1866, a son of Charles S. Coulter. His grand- 
father was William Coulter, who was born in County Tyrone, Ire- 
land, March 25, 1783, a member of a family of Scotch Presbyterian 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 137 

Stock, the members of which had fled Scotland in 1686 to avoid re- 
ligious persecution. He passed his entire life in his native Erin, where 
his death occurred March 20, 1865. Charles S. Coulter was born in 
County Tyrone, Ireland, July 16, 1830, and at the age of sixteen years 
left his father's home and came to the United States in search of his 
fortune. Upon his arrival he secured employment on the old Thomas 
Coulter place, and later worked at Fairhaven and Morning Sun, and 
when still a young man was employed by the month by Doctor 
Porter for a period of five or six years, and on a farm near College 
Corner. Eventually he purchased a farm in Oxford township known 
as the Joseph Booth place, where he has resided since 1884 with his 
son. In 1914 they built the fine brick home, which came as a finish- 
ing touch to the various other modern improvements which were 
made. Mr. Coulter is a country gentleman of the old school and one 
who has made and held numerous friendships. He is a staunch 
Democrat in his political affiliation and a faithful member of the 
United Presbyterian church at Oxford, to which also belonged his 
wife, who passed away in 1914. She bore the maiden name of Cath- 
erine Herron, was of Milford township, Butler county, and a mem- 
ber of a family of English stock, being reared as an Episcopalian, 
and married Mr. Coulter December 6, 1853, at which time she 
adopted the Presbyterian faith. They became the parents of seven 
children: Margaret B., born October 10, 1854, who died in infancy; 
William L., born September 15. 1856, who married Maggie Doug- 
lass ; John T., born August 24, 1858, who married Elizabeth Clark 
and has had the following children : Wilbur, a commission man at the 
Denver (Col.) stock )'ards ; Jennie, the wife of Joseph Jewell of Ox- 
ford township ; Howard in the transfer business at Oxford ; Edwin, 
who met a hero's death as a member of the A. E. F. in the late war ; 
Arthur, who married Ella Doty and lives on the home place ; Mar- 
jorie, a teacher at Morning Sun, and John, at home attending the 
university at Oxford; Emma J., born April 19, 1861, who married 
David Johnson of Pueblo, Colo., and had two sons, Charles, an en- 
gineer engaged in construction work on a railroad in Idaho, and 
Thomas, who is deceased; George E., born July 22, 1863, and now 
retired at Hamilton; Lizzie M., born April 28, 1868, who married 
George Roll ; and Elmer H. Elmer H. Coulter attended the home 
schools and spent one year at Miami university, and passed his boy- 
hood and youth in much the same manner as other farmers' sons of 
his day and community. He was married October 19, 1893. to Dora 
Krebs of Milford township, a daughter of Charles Krebs, whose life 
review will be found on another page of this work. To this union 
there have been born four children. The eldest, Harold Krebs, was 
born November 4, 1894, in Oxford township, and attended High 
school and the Miami university. He joined the National Guards in 
June 1916, as a member of Company E, 3d Ohio, and was sent to 
the Mexican border. January 28, 1918, he received his commission 
in the regular army and was sent to Fort Leavenworth, where he 
spent three months in the officers' training camp. He was then com- 
missioned first lieutenant and sent to Fort Bliss, and after further 
preparation his company went to Waco, Texas, whence it went to 
Camp Merritt. In August, 1918, it sailed for overseas, and after 



138 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

landing at Bordeaux went to Toul and was in training for two weeks. 
He took part in the engagement at St. Mihiel and was at Metz, and 
was then transferred to the air service, continuing with that branch 
of the service until his honorable discharge, with the exception of 
the time that he spent in the hospital. He was married August 17, 
1914, to Nora M. Smith, of Cleveland, Ohio, a daughter of Fred C. 
and Elizabeth (Meredith) Smith, the former of Cleveland and the 
latter of Philadelphia, Mr. Smith having been in transportation serv- 
ice on the Great Lakes. Lieutenant and Mrs. Coulter have one son, 
Harold Meredith, born July 21, 1916. Marion Coulter, the second 
son of Elmer H. Coulter, was born November 28, 1895. He attended 
the High school from which he graduated and Miami university. 
He enlisted in the United States service in January, 1917, and re- 
ceived his commission as first lieutenant, subsequently seeing much 
active service overseas. Catherine Elizabeth, the elder daughter of 
Elmer H. Coulter, was born January 26, 1899, and is a graduate of 
Oxford High school and Miami university, and later became a stu- 
dent in a young ladies' finishing school in Virginia. Dorothea Emma, 
the youngest child of Elmer H. Coulter, was born March 8, 1902, 
and received her education at Oxford High school and Oxford col- 
lege. With the exception of six years which he spent in Kansas 
while his wife was recovering her health, and in which he engaged 
in farming there, Elmer H. Coulter has always been associated with 
his father in farming and stock raising operations. He is now the 
owner of a handsome property of 200 acres, and is a shipper of cattle 
and hogs. He is considered one of the best judges of stock in his part 
of the county, and his judgment is frequently sought upon questions 
relating to agricultural matters. He is a Republican in politics and 
he and the members of his family belong to the United Brethren 
church. Mr. Coulter is entitled to membership in the Sons of Vet- 
erans, as his father served as a member of the 167th Regiment, Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil war. 

Howard S. Coulter, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Coulter, was 
born in Oxford township, May 24, 1889. It was in the district schools 
of his native township that he received his education, and after 
leaving school, he became active in the milk business. Later he 
went to Colorado, where he was a cow-puncher, and stage-driver. 
When, in later years, he returned to Butler county, he engaged in 
the transfer business in Oxford, and became the president of the 
H. S. Coulter Transfer company, which, operating ten auto trucks, 
is engaged principally in hauling overland live stock to Cincinnati. 
From the Ohio river city the trucks return with shipments of hard- 
ware, groceries, and other heavy freight, to Oxford, College Corner, 
and other localities. Other officers of the company are : S. B. Doug- 
lass, secretary ; J. A. Douglass, treasurer ; and Homer Dare, vice- 
president. Some years ago, Mr. Coulter married Edna C. Doty, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam L. Doty, of Oxford. They have one 
child, Leon, who is seven years old. During the days of America's 
part in the war, Mr. Coulter gave much of his time and earnest effort 
to war activities, aiding in the various drives, and evidencing the 
keen, patriotic spirit of the red-blooded American. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 139 

John R. Coulter. A career of sturdy industry and signal useful- 
ness, eventuating in well-merited success, has been that of John R. 
Coulter, who is now one of the representative agriculturists of Ox- 
ford township and the owner of a valuable property and modern 
home. His earlier years were passed in vocations other than that of 
agriculture, but eventually he returned to the occupation of his fore- 
fathers, which he has found to be the medium through which to 
gain success and the satisfying things of life. Mr. Coulter was born 
near Fairhaven, Ohio, August 24, 1858, a son of Charles S. and 
Catherine (Herron) Coulter, a review of whose careers will be found 
elsewhere in this work in the sketch of William L. Coulter. Edu- 
cated primarily in the public schools, he secured further advantages 
by attending Miami university, and after his graduation from that 
institution of learning became a traveling man and for two years 
sold clothing as a representative of large Ohio establishments. 
When he left that occupation it was to take up butchering, which 
he followed for seven years, and also had some experience in the 
live stock business at Oxford, but finally turned his attention to 
farming in Oxford township, and in 1908 located on his present 
ninety-acre farm. During his residence in this community he has 
been connected with the best interests of Butler county, and is ac- 
counted one of the progressive men of his locality. Mr. Coulter was 
married in 1882 to Sarah E., daughter of Richard A. and Rebeca 
Clark, of Oxford township, and to this union there have been bom 
seven children : Jennie, who married Joseph Jewell of Oxford town- 
ship and has six children ; George Wilbur, who married Maxine 
Hinon ; Howard S., who married Edna Doty ; Edwin, who met a 
hero's death in France ; Arthur, who married Ella Doty ; Marjorie E., 
who is engaged in teaching school ; and John R., jr., residing on the 
home farm. Edwin Coulter was twenty-seven years of age when, in 
1917, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He received 
his training at Quantico, Va., and in August, 1918, was sent overseas 
to France. Placed in command of a squadron of "Eight Automatics," 
French guns, he led a gallant charge in the Champagne sector, Oc- 
tober 4, 1918, and while his command reached its objective he was 
among those found dead on the brilliantly won field. He was a youth 
who was extremely popular in his home community as well as 
among his comrades in the Marines, and his death caused wide- 
spread sorrow. 

Thomas W. Coulter. While Butler county has its full quota of 
merchants, financiers, manufacturers and professional men, it has 
been particularly noted for the high standards set by its agricul- 
turists, whose energy and enterprise during the past half a century 
have served to make this part of the Miami valley one of the garden 
spots of Ohio. A contributor to this work of agricultural develop- 
ment has been Thomas W. Coulter, of Milford township, the owner 
of a splendid farm and a citizen of importance and influence in his 
home community. He was born in Milford township, Butler coun- 
ty, Ohio, February 11, 1853, a son of John and Margaret (Coulter) 
Coulter. On the maternal side, Mr. Coulter's grandparents were 



140 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Thomas and Isabella Coulter, natives of County Tyrone, Ireland, 
who were married in their native Erin, and after coming to this 
country settled first in Pennsylvania, from where they removed to 
Hamilton, and finally to Milford township, buying Government 
land. There they passed their remaining years, building a home 
from the wilderness and rearing the following children : Martha, 
who married William McClelland, who was born in the old stockade 
at Fort Hamilton, and lived near Hamilton ; Eliza, who married 
William Douglass; Thomas, who married Lucinda Clendening; 
Margaret, who became the wife of John Coulter and the mother of 
Thomas W. ; and Jane, who married Samuel Douglass. The pa- 
ternal grandparents of Thomas W. Coulter, William and Matilda 
Coulter, were also born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and never came 
to the United States. Their son, John Coulter, was twenty-three 
years of age when he came to the United States, his sister Matilda 
and brother Charles also coming here. There were five other chil- 
dren : Robert, William, Margaret, Thomas and Catherine. Charles, 
at the age of ninety-one years, is still living in Butler county, resid- 
ing with his son, Elmer, in Oxford township. This veteran of the 
Civil war married Catherine Herron. John Coulter, upon his ar- 
rival in the United States, settled first in Illinois for two years and 
then came to Butler county, where he was married about three years 
later. He at that time settled on the farm adjoining that upon which 
his son now lives, but later moved to the latter place, where he still 
lives at a very advanced age, his wife having passed away some 
years ago. Thomas W. Coulter was educated in the public schools, 
after leaving which he was engaged in farming as an associate of his 
father. He was married in October, 1878, to Caroline Cooper, of 
New Brunswick, N. J., who came to Oxford township with her 
grandparents, her mother having died. Later she went back to New 
Jersey to live with her father, Jacob Cooper, who was a professor in 
Rutgers college, N. J., and who had served as a chaplain in the Union 
army during the Civil war. He was at one time connected with Dan- 
ville (Ky.) college, and was a man of great learning and intellec- 
tuality. Following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Coulter moved to a 
property near their present home, and at the time of Mr. Coulter's 
father's retirement, the younger man took over the management of 
the home place, which has been brought to a high state of cultiva- 
tion and improvement, the property responding splendidly to his 
enthusiastic and well-managed labors. Mr. and Mrs. Coulter are 
the parents of five children : Charles Robert, Margaret Elizabeth, 
James Abraham, Helen E. and Mary Estelle. Charles Robert, a 
graduate of Miami university and the University of Michigan, is 
now a New York attorney, is married, and has two children, Car- 
oline and Janet. Margaret Elizabeth, after graduating from Miami 
university and Cornell university, taught school until her marriage 
to Henry Stevenson, of Portland, Ore. ; James Abraham, a graduate 
in chemistry of Miami university, is now superintendent of Port 
Ivory, Staten Island, N. Y. He married Pearl Smith and has one 
child : Mary Louise. Mary Estelle, a graduate of Oxford Female 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 141 

college, married O. Van Sickle, of Akron, Ohio, and has four chil- 
dren : Thomas, John, Mary and Helen Margaret; Helen, a graduate 
of Oxford Female college, taught school until her marriage to 
Harold Ronderbush, of Akron. She died in March, 1919, leaving 
one child : Allen T. Mr. Coulter is one of the successful agricul- 
turists of his community, being the owner of 166 acres in his home 
tract and 480 acres in Kansas, and having varied and important in- 
terests. Always a hard worker, intelligently applying the training 
of a lifetime of experience to his calling, he has developed a fine 
property and has something to show for his efforts. He and the 
members of his family are Presbyterians. The Coulter family is 
one which is widely known and has many irnportant connections, as 
well as being a very numerous one, as in this branch there are 184 
direct descendants from his grandfather, of whom 134 are living. 
He has always been a public-spirited citizen, as have others bearing 
the name, and all have contributed materially to the welfare of their 
community, county, state and country. During the late war Mr. 
Coulter was generous in his subscriptions to war activities, and 
many of the Coulter name bore arms in the great struggle. One of 
his close relatives, Edwin Coulter, met a hero's death on a battle- 
field in Flanders, and Philip and Allen Coulter, of Fort Worth, 
Texas, sons of John Coulter, a cousin of Mr. Coulter of this review, 
saw active service overseas with the American Expeditionary 
Forces. 

William L. Coulter. Butler county is noted for the excellence 
of its farms, as well as for the public spirit and enterprise of those 
who till them. One of these successful farmers, a resident of the 
county for many years, and still engaged in active pursuits, is Wil- 
liam L. Coulter, who operates a fine tract of 151 acres in Milford 
township. Mr. Coulter was born near Darrtown, Ohio, in 1856, a 
son of Charles and Catherine (Herron) Coulter, the former a native 
of Ireland and the latter of Butler county, Ohio. In young manhood 
Charles Coulter emigrated to the United States, and after being 
variously employed several years settled on a Butler county farm. 
While living there he met and married Catherine, daughter of Hugh 
and Margaret (Kramer) Herron, the latter of whom had two broth- 
ers, Thomas and William, who were soldiers during the Civil war. 
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Coulter settled on a farm in Mil- 
ford township, subsequently moved to Oxford township, and finally 
retired from active affairs and located at Oxford, where Mrs. Coulter 
died. They were the parents of the following children : Emma, who 
is the wife of David Johnson ; Lizzie, who is the wife of George Roll ; 
William L., of this review; John, of Oxford township; George, of 
Hamilton ; and Elmer, of Oxford township. William L. Coulter was 
educated in the public schools of his native community and at Miami 
university, although he did not complete his course at the latter, 
leaving school at the age of twenty-two years in order to begin as- 
sisting his father in the work of the home place. He was married 
in 1882 to Maggie, daughter of Samuel and Isabella (Coulter) 
Douglass, who resided at Oxford, where the father died in 1895 and 
the mother in 1901. They were the parents of two children : Martha, 



142 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

who married David Stewart ; and Maggie, who became Mrs. Coulter. 
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Coulter resided on the former's 
father's farm for eight years, then moved to their present farm of 
151 acres in Milford township, in addition to which Mr. Coulter owns 
another farm, of seventy-seven acres, in Oxford township. In his 
general farming and stock raising work, Mr. Coulter make^ use of 
modern machinery and up-to-date methods, and in every way shows 
himself to be a practical and scientific farmer. He is not a politician 
nor does he seek public office, but takes a keen interest in public 
affairs and is intelligently informed upon questions of importance. 
With his family, he belongs to the United Presbyterian church. 
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Coulter : Charles, of 
Jamestown, Ohio, who married Louise Barber and has three chil- 
dren, Robert, Eleanor and Mary Louise ; Alvin, residing in Oxford 
township, who married Grace Bryant, and has one child, a daughter, 
Helen Lucile ; Elsie, who married Marion McQuiston, of near Morn- 
ing Sun, and has two children, Dorothea and Elizabeth ; and Alice, 
who married George Gravitt, and has one child, Emmet Charles. 

David Cox, son of John H. and Sara A. Cox, was born in Sharon, 
Pa., September 24, 1896. His parents, both of Southampton, Eng- 
land, were married April 7, 1866, and, coming to this country, lo- 
cated in Sharon, where the father became connected with the rolling 
mill. With his family, Mr. Cox moved to Middletown, Ohio, about 
fourteen years ago, and took a position as heater with the American 
Rolling Mill company. He is an adept in the rolling mill business, 
and one of the best informed among the men at the local plant, and 
many who now occupy the best positions in the mill were under his 
tutelage. There were eight children in the Cox family, one of whom, 
Eunice, born in England, died in infancy in that country ; the others, 
all in Middletown : Flora, now Mrs. Earl Brate ; John Henry, David, 
Omar, Raymond, Clarice and Norman. David, the subject of this 
sketch, graduated from the Middletown High school in 1914, after 
which he was for two years connected with the office of the rolling 
mill in a clerical capacity, when he enlisted in U. S. Aero Squadron 
No. 227. He was sent to France and there passed a year in active 
service before receiving a discharge. The young man is a splendid 
type of true American manhood, and his friends predict for him a 
most successful career. The Coxes own a splendid home on Craw- 
ford street. In religion he is an Episcopalian and in politics, liberal. 

John C. F. Craig, D. D. S. The dental surgeons of Butler county 
include as fine a body of men as are to be found anywhere in the 
Miami valley. They have taken the present exhaustive course which 
has reduced the care, preservation and restoration of the teeth and 
the treatment of the various disorders attendant upon them to an 
exact and unfailing science. Among those and one who has built 
up a large practice a:nd firmly established himself in the confidence 
of the community is Dr. John C. F. Craig, of Venice. Doctor Craig 
was born in Crosby township, Hamilton county, Ohio, February 12, 
1884, a son of John C. F. and Sarah Jane (Wood) Craig. The former 
was born near New Baltimore, Ohio, a son of Aaron Craig, the lat- 
ter's wife having been Mary Francis Scull. Sarah Jane (Wood) 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 143 

Craig was a daughter of James and Sarah (Vincent) Wood, who 
came from England. After their marriage the parents of Doctor 
Craig lived for a time at Cliptown, Ohio, then went to New Balti- 
more, and eventually settled in Colerain township, Hamilton coun- 
ty, where they still reside on their valuable farm near Bowling 
Green. Their children were as follows : Aaron J. ; Dr. John C. F., of 
this notice ; Carrie Belle, the wife of George Gausmann ; and Edith, a 
school teacher. Dr. J. C. F. Craig received his early education in 
the public schools of Colerain township, and following his gradua- 
tion from the Hamilton High school in 1904, took a business course 
at Joiner's Business college, Columbus, Ohio. He then began his 
dental studies as an attendant of the Cincinnati Dental college, 
where he was graduated in 1908, and in addition to this completed 
a course in the Cincinnati College of Embalming and a course at the 
National Institute of Pharmacy, at Chicago. Doctor Craig began 
the practice of his profession at Venice in 1908, and has continued 
therein with constantly growing success, having attracted a large 
and representative clientele and succeeding in establishing himself 
firmly in the confidence of the public and of his fellow-practitioners. 
He belongs to the various organizations of his profession, is a Re- 
publican in politics, holds membership in the Knights of Pythias and 
the Modern Woodmen of America, and, with Mrs. Craig, belongs to 
the United Brethren church. During the period of the war, he was 
a member of the Dental Reserve Corps, and contributed a great deal 
of professional service free of charge in preparing enlisted men for 
proper service. He was also a generous supporter of all war activ- 
ities, and showed himself a thoroughly loyal and public-spirited 
citizen. Doctor Craig was united in marriage October 5, 1915, at 
Hamilton, Ohio, to Hazel, the estimable daughter of Charles and 
Ora (Hughes) Emrick, of Colerain township, Hamilton county, well- 
known and highly respected agricultural people of that community. 
Like her husband, Mrs. Craig has entered actively into the life of 
Venice, and also like him has a wide circle of friends here. 

N. A. Cramer. Investigation reveals that a large percentage of 
the prosperous farmers of Ohio today started as farm hands and by 
close application to duties at all times and practicing economies 
which the average city-bred young man would not care to experi- 
ence, saved sufificient money in the course of years to place them in 
position to either lease or purchase outright a farm. Also it might 
be stated that those who found it more convenient for their pocket- 
book to undertake a lease showed that they were of the mettle of 
which the agricultural interests of the country have good reason to 
be proud and it did not require operation of leased farm by these 
energetic young men very long before they were prepared to pur- 
chase outright. In this respect we have the spectacle of the self- 
made prosperous farmer as well as the self-made city man. And it 
is interesting to note that the reason each gives for his success is that 
he never neglected to take advantage of all opportunities which 
might present to better his position in life and also was aware of the 
fact that hard work is a determining factor in making for the goal 
of success. N. A. Cramer of Liberty township, Butler county, Ohio. 



144 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

affords admirable example of what can be accomplished by the 
young man who takes up agriculture as a pursuit with the deter- 
mination to climb to the top in this field of endeavor. Starting as a 
farm hand at the age of twenty years, today at the age of sixty years 
he owns a 104-acre farm in Liberty township, which is fully im- 
proved and which is increasing in value encouragingly each year. 
Born in New Jersey, in 1861, he was the son of John and Ellen 
Cramer. He migrated to Clermont county, Ohio, when a youngster 
and received his schooling in the public schools of that county. He 
remained in that community until he reached his twentieth year 
when he moved to Liberty township and obtained employment as a 
farm hand at $18 per month. He worked as a farm hand for a num- 
ber of years. During these years that he was serving his novitiate 
for the more responsible duties of owner and overseer of a farm to 
come in future days he was recognized as a young man who was al- 
ways prepared to give the best that was in him in order to further 
the interests of his employer. No work on the farm was too humble 
for him to perform and he went about the duties allotted him with 
the same feeling of responsibility as though he were looking after 
his personal affairs solely. It is also interesting to note that the 
same self-prescribed rules of conduct which characterized his ac- 
tivities when he was an unassuming farm hand govern him today in 
the operation of his own farm. After working on the farm of Frank 
Hughes for some time the opportunity to purchase the 104-acre 
farm which he is at present operating arose in 1906. In the mean- 
time he married Miss Hannah Hazleton, daughter of Stephen and 
Sarah Hazleton of Clermont county, Ohio, and four children were 
the result of this union : Virgil, who married Miss Nell Brate, and 
who is the father of two children, Myron and Gerald ; Owen, who 
married Mary Brate, and is the father, of two children, Darrell and 
Eugene ; Harry, who married Louise McCleary, and is the father of 
one child, Don ; and Herbert, who is single and lives with his parents. 
Besides general farming, Mr. Cramer is engaged quite extensively in 
stock raising. Improvements have been made on his farm from time 
to time which have represented a large outlay of money. He is a 
Democrat and at one time was road supervisor of Liberty township. 
He is a member of the I. O. O. F. 

Mrs. Mary Crane. No family in the country can present a more 
honorable record than that which bears the name of Crane. This is 
an old English family which can trace its history back through an 
unbroken line to the year 1637, at which time Jasper Crane and his 
wife Alice came to America and settled at New Haven, N. J., where 
they reared a family. Among their children was a son, Jasper, v/ho 
became prominent in the affairs of the colony and was a member of 
the committee of safety to protect the New Haven colony against 
DeRuyter, the Dutch admiral. Jasper Crane also served with dis- 
tinction in the colonial legislature and left the impress of his strong 
individuality upon the material growth of the town in which his 
home was made. Any person who can worthily claim a Crane as 
an ancestor will have no trouble in proving eligibility to member- 
ship in the Society of Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the Amer- 




^^o^a^^^«2>^^5=— 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 145 

ican Revolution or the Sons of the American Revolution. Stephen 
Crane, son of Jasper Crane, jr., was born and reared in New Jersey, 
and like his father became influential in matters of public import 
and a leader among his fellow-citizens. He married and reared a 
family, the eldest of his children being John Crane. John Crane, jr., 
second son of the above John Crane, was the father of a number of 
children, the third of whom was given his own name. Like him, he 
stood high in the confidence and esteem of the public. He married 
and became the head of a well-known and influential family, and it 
was through his son, Elijah, that the branch in Ohio came into be- 
ing. Stephen Crane, son of Elijah, spent his life in New Jersey as a 
tiller of the soil and two of his sons, Isaac and Joseph, also became 
agriculturists, the former owning for many years a fine estate of 178 
acres near the city of New Haven. In the year 1837, William B. 
Crane moved his family from New Jersey to Butler county and 
settled on a farm near Middletown, where he remained until his 
death in August, 1854, his wife following him in death three years 
later. William Conklin Crane, the eldest son of Mulford and Rhoda 
(Potter) Crane, was born December 19, 1857, and spent his entire 
life at Middletown, with the exception of nine years, 1865 to 1874, 
during which time he was a resident of Kossuth, la. In February, 
1882, he entered the employ of the P. J. Sorg Tobacco company, and 
in 1884 was promoted to the position of foreman of the pressroom. 
In January, 1890, he was appointed assistant to the superintendent 
of the plant and in 1906, was appointed manager of the American 
Tobacco company for the State of Ohio. Mr. Crane was married 
December 5. 1883, to Mary L., daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth F. 
Blackburn, her father being an Englishman and her mother a direct 
descendant of the old Bullock family of Virginia. To this union 
there were born four children: Roy, born June 11, 1885; Paul J., 
born April 5, 1887 ; William Ross, born February 27, 1893 ; and Mary 
Elizabeth, born May 28, 1894. The death of the father of these 
children, which occurred June 17, 1913, was greatly deplored by all 
the citizens of Middletown, for he was a citizen who had done much 
for the public good and was held in high esteem by all who knew 
him. William Ross Crane was educated at the Miami Military col- 
lege, at Germantown, where he received the highest rank, that of 
cadet major, and subsequently attended Yale university. He en- 
tered the United States service during the great war and was sent to 
Ft. Benjamin Harrison, where he received his commission, and went 
overseas with the 83d Division, later being transferred to the 4th 
Division. He went "over the top" three times, and October 4. 1918, 
was wounded. He married Margaret, daughter of Mark Thomas, 
and they have one son: William Ross, jr. Paul J. Crane was edu- 
cated at Middletown High school and Ohio State university, and 
entered the United States army, being sent to Ft. Benjamin Harri- 
son, where he received his commission. He was made training 
officer at Camp Grant, Rockford, 111., where he remained during the 
period of the war. Roy Crane, who is connected with the Hup Motor 
Car company, at Detroit, Mich., married Edith Muthert, of Middle- 
town. Mary Elizabeth Crane, who was educated at Notre Dame, 

10 



146 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Center and Byrn Mawr, is the wife of C. E. McCoy, metallurgical 
chemist at the American Rolling Mill company, Middletown. The 
mother of these children is a woman of very brilliant attainments, 
belongs to several literary clubs, and takes a very active part in the 
local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of which 
she is a member. Recently she sold her beautiful home on Fourth 
street to the Knights of Columbus, to be used for a clubhouse, the 
consideration being $30,000, and is contemplating the erection of a 
smaller home. 

Allie Crist. Among the men of the Miami valley whose progres- 
sive spirit and large ideas have given them prominence and prestige, 
Allie Crist is a noteworthy example. This well-known resident of 
the Hamilton district of Butler county is one of the largest land- 
holders and stock growers in his part of the Miami valley, and is 
likewise prominent as a man of much benevolence and public spirit. 
He was born in what is known as the Crist district, near Seven Mile, 
Butler county, a son of Allison B. and Phoebe C. (Maddox) Crist, 
and is of Revolutionary descent, his great-grandfather, John Crist, 
having fought as a soldier of the patriot army, was wounded at the 
battle of Brandywine, and which wound later caused his death. Dur- 
ing the early 1800's this soldier immigrated to Brookville, Ind., 
whence the family came to Ohio. Allison B. Crist, the father of 
Allie Crist, who was born in Brookville, Ind., was one of the large 
landholders of Butler county, and an extensive farmer, and his son 
was reared to prepare himself for an agricultural career. His edu- 
cation was secured in the public schools, and he has followed in the 
footsteps of his father, both as a progressive farmer and as an ac- 
cumulator of property. At this time he is the owner of 2,200 acres 
of land, of which 825 acres are located in the original Symmes' pur- 
chase south of Hamilton. Mr. Crist is a general farmer, but has 
made a specialty of raising stock, and in this department is one of 
the leaders of the Miami valley. Annually he raises 1,000 head of 
hogs and from 500 to 600 head of cattle. In various directions he 
has shown his progressive spirit, which is reflected in all matters 
pertaining to his farm, and in the fact that he was the man to intro- 
duce the high silo in Ohio. His home is one of the palatial country 
residences of the valley, and his various other buildings are propor- 
tionate in value and attractiveness, while his equipment of all kinds 
is of the latest and most highly improved manufacture. In all his 
business relations, his reputation for integrity has remained invio- 
late, and his public spirit has never been questioned, his support 
being given to all worthy civic movements. He is known as a man 
of great benevolence, and recently was the donator of a valuable 
piece of property for church purposes. His personal aspirations 
have never included a desire for public office. Mr. Crist married 
Miss Beulah Early, of West Elkton, and they are the parents of 
seven children: Cecelia, deceased; and Thelma, Roy, Ray, Hazel, 
Marie and Elwood, who reside with their parents. 

Francis M. Crist. The vocation of agriculture has always 
claimed the attention of Francis M. Crist, of Wayne township, But- 
ler county, and through many years of industry and intelligently 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 147 

applied methods of procedure he has become one of the substantial 
citizens and large landholders of his locality. Mr. Crist was born on 
his father's farm in Wayne township, October 17, 1864, a son of 
Allison B. and Phoebe Crist, the former born near Brookville, 
Ind., and the latter in Wayne township. John Crist, the grand- 
father of Francis M., was an early settler of Franklin county, Ind., 
and for many years carried on farming in the vicinity of Brookville. 
A. B. Crist grew up on his father's farm, and at the outbreak of the 
Civil war left his wife and family in Ohio, to which he had removed 
and enlisted in an Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment and served 
with the 100-day men. His name will be found on the roster of 
soldiers at Hamilton. At the expiration of service with Uncle Sam 
he took up his residence at Somerville, Butler county, Ohio, where 
he entered into partnership with a Mr. Davis in the pork packing 
business. Through this business he received suiificient funds to 
make his first payment on an eighty-acre farm in Wayne township 
and later added to this by purchase until he was the owner of nearly 
1,000 acres. This included the home farm and land owned in Butler 
and Preble counties. He was one of the progressive men of his sec- 
tion, and in 1878 erected what was at that time one of the largest 
and finest brick residences in this part of the country. The 200,000 
bricks used in its construction were all burned on the home premises, 
and the residence throughout is finished in white walnut. Mr. Crist 
was one of the highly esteemed men of his community and when he 
died, in 1908, his locality lost one of its valuable and public-spirited 
men. Both he and his wife, who died in 1898, were members of the 
Friends church, and were laid to rest at West Elkton. They were 
the parents of eleven children, of whom eight are living at this time : 
John,, a resident of Middletown ; Mrs. Luella CoUom, of West Elk- 
ton ; Francis M. ; Martha, who is unmarried and a resident of West 
Elkton ; Emma, also single and a resident of Pittsburg, Pa. ; Eva, 
the wife of Thomas Hicks ; Rev. Elwood, a minister at Defiance, 
Ohio ; and Allie B., who is engaged in farming four miles south of 
Hamilton. Francis M. Crist was educated at the Pleasant Grove 
school, after leaving which he took up farming as one of his father's 
assistants. He was married in 1886 to Nora M., daughter of Nathan 
Mendenhall of Wayne township, and following his marriage took up 
his residence one-half mile from his present place in Wayne town- 
ship. After two years he bought of his father 128 acres which is his 
present home and in 1909 bought of the heirs 261 acres, which is in a 
magnificent state of cultivation, and the equipment of which in- 
cludes all modern conveniences, improvements and facilities of 
country life. Mr. Crist has been very successful in the conduct of 
his operations, and in addition to the home place is the owner of 
177 acres where his son lives, ninety-seven acres just south of the 
home place, 235 acres on the West Elkton pike in Wayne township 
and 240 acres in Preble county. His standing as a man of integ^ty 
is assured and during his long residence in this part of Ohio he has 
gained and held many friends. His contributions to war activities 
were generous and his public spirit has been evidenced by his sup- 
port of constructive movements. Politically Mr. Crist is a Republi- 



148 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

can, and his religion and that of his family is the Quaker faith. Five 
children have been bom to Mr. and Mrs. Crist : Homer, a graduate 
of the West Elkton High school and of a commercial college, and a 
farmer on the West Elkton pike, who married Myrtle Lane and has 
one child. Vera Louise ; Arthur, who attended high school and is 
now a farmer in Wayne township, married Pearl Cook and has one 
child, Beatrice P. ; Grace, -the wife of Rev. James Ervin, a Methodist 
minister and evangelist, with two sons, Wesley and Paul ; she hav- 
ing spent two years at Oxford seminary and Wesleyan one year ; 
Florence, who attended Oberlin college, and is the widow of Dr. 
William Cumson, a dental practitioner, who died in October, 1918, 
with one daughter, Theo ; and Alma, a high school graduate, who 
married Raymond Southern, a farmer near West Elkton. Mrs. 
Crist's parents, Nathan and Elizabeth Mendenhall, with their fam- 
ily lived in Butler county. The family consisted of four boys and 
two girls : Louise, Harriett, Carie, Edwin, Curtis and Mrs. Crist. 
Mr. and Mrs. Mendenhall are deceased, the mother dying in 1911; 
the father in 1917. 

John H. Crout, a prominent, substantial and worthy farmer of 
Madison township, has been a resident of this community all of his 
life, and has established himself firmly in an enviable position as to 
material things, while in public confidence he stands high because of 
d straightforward and convincing integrity which has characterized 
his entire career. He belongs to one of the old and honored families 
of Butler county, and was born in Madison township. May 8, 1856, a 
son of Henry and Rachael (Bake) Crout, the former born in the 
same township, December 27, 1825, and the latter here also February 
17, 1829. The father grew up in the vicinity of Middletown, where 
he was reared amid pioneer surroundings, and was one of the men 
who assisted in the early development of the county, having cleared 
the farm where his son, William, now resides, and having made a 
comfortable home for his family. Doubtless he would have achieved 
a large amount of success, for he was a very capable and intelligent 
man, but he was called by death when most men are still at their 
prime, passing away November 6, 1866, when less than forty-one 
years of age. He was a Democrat in his political views, but cared 
little for politics aside from supporting the candidates of his party. 
His religious faith was that of the United Brethren church, to which 
Mrs. Crout, who survived him until April 3, 1894, also belonged. 
They were the parents of three sons : Leander, who died December 
26, 1853 ; John H., of this notice ; and William H., a sketch of whose 
career will be found on another page of this work. John H. Crout's 
advantages for an education were somewhat limitedj owing to the 
fact that he was but ten years of age at the time of his father's death, 
and that from that time forward he was expected to work hard in 
order that he might contribute his share to the family income. How- 
ever, he managed from time to time to attend the district school, 
and, being quick and intelligent, with a retentive mind, succeeded in 
gaining even a better schooling than many of his comrades who had 
much better opportunities. He lived at home until his marriage, in 
1900, to Lydia A. Gephart, of Madison township, a daughter of Wil- 




MR. AND MRS. A. B. CRIST, SR. 

RESIDENCE OF F. M. CRIST 

MR. AND MRS. NATHAN MENDENHALL 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 149 

Ham and Hannah (Schlobig) Gephart, the former of Pennsylvania. 
Mr. and Mrs. Gephart are farming people and still make their home 
in Madison township. Their children were : Valentine, who met an 
accidental death September 28, 1883 ; Lydia A., now Mrs. Crout ; 
Mary Catherine, who married John Berg; Margaret, who married 
William Van Holt ; Hannah, who is deceased ; Clara, who married 
David Bell ; Lizzie, who married Harry Hoffman ; and Willie, who 
died at the age of ten years. Mr. and Mrs. Crout are the parents of 
one son : Grover, working the farm and a well known young man of 
Madison township, who married Bessie Thompson, a daughter of 
William and Mary Thompson of Miltonville. Mrs. Crout had two 
children : John, born in Warren county, December 27, 1887 ; and 
Jake, born in the same county, July 22, 1889, married in 1916, Edith 
Stultz, of Knox county, Ind., and has one son, Jacob G. Mr. Crout 
has always engaged in farming, has always worked industriously 
and faithfully, and has always managed to make his labors pay him 
well in the gaining of prosperity. He bought his present farm of 
eighty acres in Madison township not long after his marriage, this 
being the old Jacob Bake place. It is in a good state of cultivation, 
yielding large crops of grain and tobacco, and Mr. Crout has also 
been successful in the breeding of mixed live stock. In addition 
to his home place he farms rented land. He votes the Democratic 
ticket and attends the United Brethren church. He is widely known 
in the county, where his friends are numbered by the list of his 
acquaintances. 

William H. Crout. The career of William H. Crout adds an- 
other to the many illustrations Butler county has furnished of the 
results obtained by intelligence, industry and perseverance when 
applied to the securing of agricultural prosperity under the favoring 
conditions which have, for many years, existed in this part of the 
Miami valley. Mr. Crout was born on the old Crout homestead, 
which he now occupies, in section 10, Madison township, and is a 
son of Henry and Rachael (Bake) Crout. Peter Crout, the paternal 
grandfather of William H., was born in Pennsylvania and became 
an early settler of Butler county, where he built the old gristmill 
at Amanda and followed the trades of millwright and carpenter. 
Both he and his wife died near Middletown. Henry Crout was born 
in Highland county, Ohio, was educated in the home schools, and 
followed farming all his life. As a young man he located in Madi- 
son township, in section 10, and for some years engaged in farming 
the property now owned by his son, although he was not given the 
opportunity of achieving marked success, as he was called by death 
in 1866, when still comparatively a young man. He was a member 
of the United Brethren church, as was also his wife, who survived 
him until the spring of 1894. She was a daughter of Jacob and 
Mary Bake, natives of Pennsylvania who came early to Butler 
county, where Mr. Bake cleared a great deal of land. He was also 
widely famed in this neighborhood as a hunter in the early days, 
and one of his favorite pastimes was the shooting of deer by moon- 
light. He died at the age of ninety-three years and his wife, aged 
eighty-seven, at West Middletown, they having reared a large 



ISO MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

family, of whom four are now living: Eliza, Emma, William and 
Alice. The educational advantages of William H. Crout were 
limited to the public schools. His elder brother, Leander, had died 
when he was six years of age, and his other brother, John, now a 
farmer of Madison township, and himself assisted their father in 
the work of development, during their spare hours. After the 
elder man's death, there was little chance for schooling, and when 
he was only twelve years of age Mr. Crout began working in the 
woods at clearing, for which his wages were twenty-five cents per 
day. He remained with his mother, caring for her and contributing 
to her support, until her death, in the spring of 1894, and October 
2 of the same year was married to Miss Delia Bell, of Darke county, 
Ohio, a daughter of Henry and Mary (Barnhart) Bell, the former 
born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Ohio. Mr. Bell was a car- 
penter by trade and followed that vocation in Darke county until 
his death in February, 1912, his wife passing away in 1914. They 
were members of the Albright church and the parents of ten chil- 
dren: Levi, of Darke county; Emanuel, unmarried; William, a 
farmer near Springfield ; Mollie, of Michigan City, Ind. ; David, a 
farmer near Seven Mile ; Fina, married Charles Hetzler, of Miamis- 
burg; Ella, of Montgomery county, Ohio ; Flora, who died at the age 
of twenty-one years; Clara, who died when young; and Delia, now 
Mrs. Crout. Four sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Crout: 
James, an inspector at the American Rolling Mill company. Middle- 
town ; and Jesse, Clarence and Roy, all at home on the farm. Mr. 
Crout has always been a farmer on the old home place, where he 
now has fifty-two acres under a high state of cultivation, and 
carries on a general farming business, making somewhat of a spe- 
cialty of grain and tobacco. He has never aspired for office, al- 
though he is a good and public-spirited citizen, but is a staunch 
Democrat and supports the candidates of his party loyally. With 
Mrs. Crout and his sons, he belongs to the United Brethren church, 
with the members of which he has numerous warm ties of 
friendship. 

G. M. Ciunmins, M. D., is a typical Ohioan and physician and 
has good reason to congratulate himself on the State of his birth, 
for it has been kind to him, although not beyond the measure of 
his deserts. He was born at Hamilton in 1876 and received his 
early education in the schools of Butler county, later attending 
country schools in Indiana, to which state his parents removed 
when he was a child. Graduating from high school in 1896, he 
prosecuted his medical studies at the Medical college of Ohio, and 
was graduated therefrom with his degree in 1900, the first several 
months of his practice being at Dayton. In November of the same 
year he established an office at Hamilton, and, through his able 
qualities as a physician and his stable, popular traits as a man, has 
continued his progress both in the development of a professional 
reputation and a profitable medical business. Doctor Cummins 
married Mary Clyne, and they are the parents of one son : George C. 
Since leaving college. Doctor Cummins has been a close student 
and has done much post-graduate work. He belongs to the Butler 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 151 

County Medical, the Ohio State Medical, and the Union District 
Medical societies and also to the American Medical association, 
and for several years served as president of the county organiza- 
tion. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. 
He possesses a fine library, embracing both medical and general 
literature, and personally is a cultured, energetic, able and pro- 
gressive physician and gentleman. 

Mrs. Mary Cummins. Among other claims upon the considera- 
tion of her fellow townspeople Mrs. Mary Cummins presents that of 
being one of the financially strong and the socially popular element 
of Middletown, where the greater part of her life has been spent, and 
where she is known as one of the most intelligent, well informed and 
tactful residents of the city. She is the widow of the late Garrett 
Cummins, who was born on the homestead place of the Cummins 
family, on Franklin road, not far from Middletown, in 1850. Mr. 
Cummins was one of the highly respected farmers of his day and 
passed his life in operations on the homestead, which is a tract of 
155 acres secured from the United States Government by the Van 
Ness family. There were six children in the family : William and 
Gertrude, who are deceased ; Georgia, who is the wife of George 
Joslyn, of Youngstown, Ohio; Dr. L. C, a practicing dentist of 
Cincinnati ; Minnie, who is the wife of Chris Bielstein of Youngs- 
town. Mrs. Mary Cummins is the possessor of the deed to the prop- 
erty on which she now lives, dated 1798, and in which year it was 
entered by Garrett Van Ness. Gen. William Henry Harrison (later 
President), was a guest of Van Ness and camped with his troops 
on this historic place, the present home of Mrs. Cummins. 

Mrs. Cummins is a familiar figure in the religious and social 
life of the vicinity of Middletown, being a welcome guest at many 
local functions. She has some very valuable historical treasures, 
among which are numbered a mahogany highboy used in the first 
hotel in Cincinnati; a highboy made by General Marks in 1774, 
and which now looks almost like new ; a mahogany secretary which 
was floated down the Ohio river and up the Miami on a log raft 
to her home ; a History of the Miami and Erie Canal ; a Gilbert 
Stuart portrait of a Knickerbocker Dutchman ; a portrait of an old 
man painted by Beard nearly one hundred years ago ; a deed on a 
grant for a New Jersey plantation written on sheepskin, dated 1732 
and 1735, bearing the royal signature of George II of England, and 
on which Washington camped, and is now the site of Princeton 
College ; deed for home signed by President Madison ; English 
mezzotint treated so as to appear an oil painting, given by Nicholas 
Longworth, Sr. ; badge worn at President Harrison's inaugural 
dinner, satin, 2 by 6 inches, with Harrison's portrait and cabin; 
satin badge 2 by 6 inches, worn at Dayton Barbecue day, where 
the Republican party was born ; an imported silken shawl listed at 
a fair many years ago as being one hundred and thirty-five years 
old and still in a beautiful state of preservation ; knee buckle worn 
by Stephen Hopkins while signing the Declaration of Independence; 
a signer's copy of the Declaration of Independence, almost fallen to 
pieces and yellow with age; a wine glass used by Washington; 



152 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

peculiar earrings nearly two hundred years old ; a paper announcing 
the death of Andrew Jackson ; party invitations nearly one hundred 
years old ; real colonial glassware ; and a tapestry bed spread with 
the date 1832 woven in the corner. She also possesses oil portraits 
of great historic value. One is of Colonel Hendrickson, a step- 
grandfather of Garrett Cummins, a delegate to the National 
Convention which nominated William Henry Harrison for the 
presidency, and himself the man who presented the General's 
name before that distinguished body. Another is of William Cum- 
mins, who was of old Revolutionary stock ; and still another of John 
McCracken, a paper maker by trade, and builder of the first paper 
mill in the United States, which was located in Cove Gap in the 
Cumberland mountains, the entire Gap property being owned by the 
McCrackens. Water power was used in the operation of this mill 
and slave labor was employed, the product being made by hand. 
When the Mason and Dixon line was definitely established and 
determined, the slaves were freed and the mill was converted into 
a flour mill. John McCracken was a journalist, and as a schoolmate 
of James Buchanan became his lifelong friend. Through his jour- 
nalistic eflforts he was largely instrumental in securing the presi- 
dential nomination for Buchanan and was likewise active in the 
work which resulted in his election. 

Miss Jessie Cummins, daughter of Mrs. Cummins and a gradu- 
ate of her home town high school and of Virginia college, is a young 
lady very much interested in church work, being a member of the 
Baptist church of Middletown of which she has been librarian and 
also secretary of the mission work, and for her faithful attendance 
has received diplomas and other prizes. Another of Mrs. Cummins' 
daughters, Minnie, is now Mrs. Bielstein and lives at Youngstown, 
Ohio. She is a graduate of the Middletown high school and Miami 
University, at which institution she was prominent in athletics, 
excelling in indoor baseball. She is also a graduate of Virginia 
college. Her husband is deputy sherifif of his county, and they have 
one daughter, Helen Van Ness. Georgia, another daughter of Mrs. 
Cummins, also lives in Youngstown, and is the wife of Mr. George 
Joslyn. They have two children, Thomas and Garrett. 

Harry H. Cunningham. Nearly a century has rolled around 
since the first settlement of the Cunningham family in Ohio, and 
during that time its members have been leading citizens and pros- 
perous agriculturists of Butler county. Of the men who worthily 
represent this name today, one who has made a success of his opera- 
tions is Harry H. Cunningham, of Wayne township. Mr. Cunning- 
ham was born in this township, January 2, 1880, a son of Andrew 
and Sarah Jane (Weaver) Cunningham. The founder of the family 
in the United States was the great-grandfather of Harry H. Cun- 
ningham, Samuel F. Cunningham, who was born in Ireland in 1770, 
and came from Conway, Ireland, to America about the year 1795, 
locating at Trenton, N. J. He was there married in 1800 to Mary 
Smith, and took up his residence near Trenton, N. J. In 1820 he 
came to Trenton, Butler county, Ohio, where he passed the rest of 
his life in farming. He was the father of six children : James ; 




HARRY H. CUNNINGHAM AND FAMILY 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 153 

Robert, who went to Illinois ; George, who settled at Pittsburg, 
Pa. ; and three daughters. James Cunningham, the grandfather of 
Harry H., went, in about 1860, to Illinois, where he passed the rest 
of his life as an agriculturist and died in 1891 at the age of eighty- 
eight years. July 28, 1829, he married Ruth Smith, who was born 
at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1801, and died in Wayne township, Butler 
county, in 1854. She was a daughter of James Smith, born in 1763 
in Cumberland county. Pa., who settled at the mouth of Four Mile 
creek, in St. Clair township, Butler county, and died in 1834. James 
and Ruth (Smith) Cunningham were the parents of six children: 
William, born in 1830; Elizabeth, born in 1831; Isabella, born in 
1833; James, born in 1834; Andrew, born in 1836; and David K., 
born in 1838. Andrew Cunningham, the father of Harry H., was 
born near Seven Mile, on the banks of Cotton Run creek, Butler 
county, October 3, 1836. He was married May 6, 1860, to Sarah 
Jane Weaver, who was born near Jacksonboro, Ohio, in 1842. Fol- 
lowing their union they settled in Wayne township, where they 
passed the remainder of their lives, Mrs. Cunningham passing away 
in 1884 and her husband in 1914, and both being buried at Elk creek. 
They were the parents of the following children: Mary M., Martin 
W., Esther, Sarah E., John A., William J., Harry H. and Edith. The 
history of the Weaver family in America is a long and honorable 
one. The direct immigrant ancestor of Harry H. Cunningham on 
his mother's side was Frederick Weaver, who came from Germany 
and in 1730, lived in Lower Sancon township, Northampton county, 
Pa. He was a member of the Lutheran congregation and the 
Weavers in direct descent from him were of the Lutheran faith, up 
to and including the grandfather of Harry H. Cunningham. Fred- 
erick Weaver had five children : Jacob ; George ; Michael, the ances- 
tor of Mr. Cunningham ; and two daughters, one of whom married 
Arnold Everhart. Eight of the grandchildren of Frederick Weaver 
fought as soldiers of the Revolution, and most of them were in the 
service under Gen. George Washington. The record of one of these 
patriots, Jacob Weaver, is as follows : Jacob Weaver, Northamp- 
ton county, Pa., ensign 3d Pennsylvania Battalion, April 22, 1776; 
taken prisoner at Fort Washington, November, 16, 1776; exchanged 
December 12, 1776; was retained as captain of company to rank of 
independent company, January 13, 1777; annexed to the 10th Penn- 
sylvania, November 7, 1777; retired in January, 1781. About 1750 
Michael Weaver married Catherine Snyder, a native of the same 
county, and they had six children: John; Henry; Michael; Philip, 
the great-grandfather of Harry H. Cunningham ; a daughter who 
married Thomas Coochis and settled at Darrtown, Ohio, in 1805 ; 
and a daughter who married Mr. Landis, and whose descendants 
are still found numerously in Butler county. Philip Weaver, the 
great-grandfather of Harry H. Cunningham, was born in North- 
ampton county, Pa., in 1765, and died in 1835. He was married 
August 11, 1787, to Catherine Hush, who was born in 1767, in North- 
umberland county, Pa., and died in 1845, in Butler county. They 
were the parents of four children, Henry, Michael, Catherine and 
John, all born in Pennsylvania, and all dying in Butler county, 



154 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Ohio, and were buried in Elk Creek cemetery, which has been used 
as a burial place by this family for over a century and is still the 
resting place of the younger descendants. The order of births and 
deaths follow : Henry and Michael were born in Lancaster, Lan- 
caster county, Pa., the former born in 1789, and died in 1875. The 
latter was born in 1792, and died in 1813. Catherine was born in 
1795, about ten miles north of Doylestown, Bucks county. Pa., and 
died in Butler county in 1865. Catherine Weaver married Samuel 
Snyder, of Madison township, Butler county, Ohio. Philip Weaver, 
Mr. Cunningham's great-grandfather, was a drummer boy during the 
Revolutionary war, under General Washington, when he was but 
twelve years of age. By the close of the struggle, however, he was 
able to bear arms, and subsequently received a pension for the 
services which he rendered as a soldier of the line. In 1808 Philip 
Weaver and his family migrated from eastern Northampton county, 
Pa., over the Alleghany mountains in the old-fashioned way, by 
wagon to Pittsburg. There the family and household goods were 
placed on one raft and the livestock on another and thus the little 
party and its worldly effects traveled down the Ohio river to Cin- 
cinnati. They then followed the Miami river as far north as 
Hamilton, and in 1809 settled on a farm in Wayne township. 
Henry Weaver, of the above family, served in the War of 1812. 
After the surrender of Hull the whole country was in a state of 
commotion and the necessary troops to keep up the defenses of 
the western frontier were drafted, among the men thus chosen 
for service being Henry Weaver. His time was originally set for 
sixty days, but he was out only twenty-six days, under General 
Winchester, at Fort Defiance, when he was relieved. John Weaver, 
the grandfather of Harry H. Cunningham, was born ten miles north 
of Doylestown, Bucks county, Pa., and ten miles south of the 
Weaver homestead, located in Lower Sancon township, North- 
ampton county. Pa., in 1799, and died in Butler county, in 1880. 
He was married October 14, 1824, to Esther Clark, who was born 
near Trenton, N. J., in 1805, and died in 1873. They became the 
parents of five sons and five daughters : Jacob, born in 1825, who 
died in infancy; Catherine, born in 1826; Elizabeth, born in 1829 
Mary Ann, born in 1831 ; Henry, born in 1833 ; Philip, born in 1835 
John C, born in 1837; Martin, born in 1840; Sarah Jane, born in 1842 
and Eliza Ellen. Of these children, Sarah Jane Weaver married 
Andrew Cunningham, and their eight children were as follows 
Mary Ann, born in 1861, who is deceased ; Martin W., born in 1863 
Esther, born in 1867, who is deceased ; Sarah E., born in 1870 
John A., born in 1873; William J., born in 1876; Harry H., born in 
1880; and Edith, born in 1882. Harry H. Cunningham received a 
common school education in Wayne township and worked on the 
home farm, being identified therewith until 1916, when he came to 
his present property in Wayne township. This is a tract of seventy- 
eight acres, which he has put under a high state of cultivation and 
in the management and operation of which Mr. Cunningham has 
shown himself a capable and industrious agriculturist. The manner 
in which he has conducted his business transactions has created a 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL ISS 

favorable impression upon his associates and his standing is cor- 
respondingly high in commercial circles. With the members of his 
family he holds membership in the Presbyterian church. He has 
always faithfully discharged the obligations and responsibilities of 
citizenship, and during the war period was a generous contributor 
to all activities. Mr. Cunningham married Eleanor May, daughter 
of William Rush, of Henry county, Ohio, November 18, 1909, and 
to this union there have come two children : Fay, born October 
22, 1910, who died in infancy; and Floyd, born in Henry county, 
Ohio, February 4, 1913. 

Elmer D. Curryer. Since entering upon his active career as a 
Butler county agriculturist and land owner, Elmer D. Curryer has 
lent dignity and stability to his vocation, and thus has maintained 
and even added to the excellent reputation gained by the mem- 
bers of his family here. He is accounted one of the men of ability 
and resource who have made the most of their opportunities, and 
thus stands high in public opinion in Lemon township, where his 
property is located. Mr. Curryer was born on the old homestead, a 
part of which he now occupies, section 10, Lemon township, Febru- 
ary 5, 1877, a son of Ira H. Curryer, a native of Shelby county, O., 
and a grandson of Daniel Curryer, also of that county. IraH. 
Curryer came to Butler county as a young man, settling near Beth- 
any, where he was married to Mary Ann Wyckoff, of Middletown. 
After their marriage they settled on the old Wyckoff place for one 
year and then moved to section 10, Lemon township, where they 
passed the remainder of their lives, the mother dying in November, 
1906, aged sixty-six years, while the father passed away in January, 
1911, aged sixty-eight years. Mr. Curryer erected a new residence 
and remodeled the barn, in addition to which he made many other 
valuable improvements. He was a breeder of Poland China hogs, 
Shorthorn cattle and a good grade of horses, and was considered a 
good judge of all kinds of live stock, as well as a business man of 
superior ability and sound integrity. In politics a staunch Demo- 
crat, he served on the election board, the school board and in town- 
ship offices, and his public record was an excellent one. With his 
family, he attended the Presbyterian church at Blue Ball. Mr. and 
Mrs. Curryer were the parents of six children : Clara, who married 
George McLandless, of Indianapolis, Ind. ; Nellie, the widow of 
Charles Harkrader, of Monroe, Ohio; Lulu, who married Judge 
Walter S. Harlan, of Hamilton ; Elmer D. ; Edith, who is single and 
resides at Hamilton; and Roy C, of Middletown, who married 
Mayme Barker. Elmer D. Curryer attended the public schools of 
Butler county, and after a preparatory course, with the expectation 
of following a professional career, entered the State university as a 
dental student. However, after one and one-half years, his health 
failed, and he was advised by his physician to return to the farm, 
a course which he forthwith pursued. He continued in business 
with his father until the elder man's death, at which time he bought 
fifty acres of the homestead, which he now has in a high state of 
cultivation. In addition to carrying on a general farming business, 
he is engaged extensively and successfully in the breeding of Hoi- 



156 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

stein cattle, Chester White hogs and Belgian Draft horses, and in 
each department of his work has shown thorough knowledge of the 
vocation to which he has dedicated his career. Like his father, he 
is a man of the strictest integrity, and his reputation is an excellent 
one in commercial transactions. March 29, 1911, Mr. Curryer was 
united in marriage with Bertha May Compton, of Lemon township, 
a daughter of William Compton, a sketch of whose career will be 
found elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Curryer have had one 
son, William Compton, who died in infancy. Mrs. Curryer is a 
member of the United Presbyterian church at Monroe, and her 
husband is a supporter of religious movements. He is a Mason, 
belonging to Blue Lodge, No. 90, at Middletown, and Mrs. Curryer 
is identified with several ladies' fraternal and social societies. In 
politics Mr. Curryer is a Democrat, and has served as a member of 
the election board, as well as showing his interest in civic and public 
affairs in other ways. 

Samuel O. Banner. Employed as a rougher at the American 
Rolling Mill company's plant since his arrival at Middletown, Sam- 
uel O. Danner has worked his way into the good graces of his com- 
pany through industry and faithful performance of the duties of 
his position, and at the same time has gained the confidence and 
good will of a large number of the members of the army of workers 
who form the integral human cogs in this mighty industrial machine. 
Mr. Danner is a native of the city of Muncie, Ind., and was born 
March 4, 1875, a son of Thomas and Charlotte (George) Danner. 
His father, who was for many years an Indiana agriculturist, fought 
as a soldier during the Civil war, fighting for the Union as a member 
of an Indiana volunteer infantry regiment. After the war he re- 
turned to farming, but eventually became a foreman in rolling 
mills and was thus employed for a period of seventeen years. He 
finally retired on a well-earned competence, and he and his wife 
are now surrounded by every comfort in the evening of life. They 
have been the parents of six children: Samuel O., of this review; 
John J., a resident of Muncie, Ind. ; Rose, who is the wife of Albert 
Bailey, of Middletown ; William Danner; Mrs. Wm. Miles, and Mrs. 
Melvina Watkins, whose husband died during the influenza epi- 
demic during the fall of 1918. Samuel O. Danner was reared on 
the home farm and received his training and education in an agri- 
cultural community, but the tilling of the soil did not appeal to him 
as a vocation in life, and he accordingly joined his father in working 
in the rolling mills. For some years he was employed at various 
places, but eventually located at Middletown, where he became a 
rougher in the rolling mills of the American Rolling Mill company, 
and has since been so employed. He is a steady and reliable work- 
man and one who enjoys the respect of his employers and the friend- 
ship of his fellow workmen. Mr. Danner, some time after coming 
to Middletown, erected a comfortable and attractive home on Elev- 
enth street, where he and his family reside in the midst of every 
modern comfort. Mr. Danner is a Baptist, and exercises his right of 
franchise as a supporter of the principles and candidates of the 
Republican party. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Knights of 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 157 

Pythias, the Loyal Order of Moose and the Knights of the Mac- 
cabees, in all of which he is deservedly popular. September 26, 1903, 
he was united in matrimony with Daisy Langston, born February 
9, 1881, at Indianapolis, Ind., a daughter of William and Jennie 
(Lomax) Langston, English people who are still living at the In- 
diana metropolis. There were four children in the Langston family: 
Mrs. Banner; Mrs. Ralph H. Zellar, of Franklin, Ohio; William, of 
Ludington, Mich. ; and Myrtle, deceased, who was the wife of Wil- 
liam George. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Banner, 
namely: Harold O., Bonald, Thomas Arthur, Helen Virginia, Paul 
Eugene, and Ruth jeanette. Mr. Langston, like Mr. Banner the 
elder, fought as a soldier of the Union during the dark days of the 
struggle between the forces of the North and South. 

Almond Davis, deceased, was born in Union township, Butler 
county. Oho, September 27, 1854, the son of Almond, sr., and Maria 
(Herr) Bavis. Almond Bavis was born in Vermont, son of Moody 
and Rebecca (Morgan) Bavis. Moody Bavis came with his family 
across the river in St. Clair township, where for a long time he 
operated a mill. Almond Bavis, sr., lived in Liberty township, where 
he followed the vocation of a farmer. There were seven children 
in the family: Almond, jr., subject of this sketch; Elizabeth, Mrs. 
Elliott, now in Liberty township ; Moody, in Liberty township ; 
Mary, Mrs. Hughes ; Joseph, in Milford township ; Harry, in Lib- 
erty township, and Edvrard, deceased. Almond, jr., our subject, after 
completing the educational course provided through the district 
schools, entered upon his life work as a farmer. He was married in 
1878, to Jennie Kerr, daughter of William and Salome (Heck) Kerr. 
William Kerr was a son of W^illiam and Emma (Ball) Kerr. Wil- 
liam Kerr, sr., was born in Butler county, and was of Irish descent. 
Salome Heck, wife of William Kerr, jr., was the daughter of Jonas 
and Magdalena (Buck). He came from Pennsylvania and settled 
in Madison township, and Magdalena Buck was born in Madison 
township. Aaron Kerr, brother of William Kerr, was a soldier in 
the Civil war. After their marriage, William Kerr and his wife 
Salome lived in Madison township, and to them were born seven 
children : Jonas, now living in Cincinnati ; Jennie, wife of the sub- 
ject of this sketch; Eunice, Mrs. Young, Cleveland, Ohio; John, 
Hamilton, Ohio ; Charles, Portsmouth, Ohio ; Salome, unmarried, 
Louisville, Ky. ; Ollie, Mrs. Sherman, Trenton, Ohio. The parents 
are buried in Miltonville cemetery. After their marriage. Almond, 
our subject, and his wife lived in Fairfield township, Butler county, 
Ohio, on the farm purchased by his father from Luther Hughes. 
Throughout his entire life he followed the vocation of farming. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Bavis were born three children ; Truman, who mar- 
ried Emma Tuley and is the father of five children — Clarabelle, 
John, Helen, Warren, Rebecca — lives in Union township; Mary, 
unmarried ; Charles. The death of Mr. Bavis occurred November 11, 
1916. In life, he was an industrious, careful man, and through his 
good management and well-directed efforts, a very desirable and 
profitable farm of 158 acres was left to Mrs. Bavis, on which the 
family continues to make their home. Members of the family 



158 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

have taken much part in the special efforts made in behalf of the 
Red Cross, Victory Loan drives, and the other war activities. Their 
long residence in the county has brought to them a very large circle 
of acquaintances and friends. The denominational affiliation of the 
family is with the Christian church. 

Dunham Davis, a prominent farmer of Oxford township, was 
born in Hamilton county, Ohio, March 30, 1856. He is the son of 
Joshua and Elizabeth Davis. Joshua Davis was a native of New 
Jersey ; his wife, Elizabeth, a ■ native of Hamilton county, Ohio. 
Joshua Davis, came to Butler county in 1863 and located in Oxford. 
Here he built a business block which was a great improvement to 
the town at that time. He then retired and lived in Oxford until 
the time of his death, which occurred in 1884. His wife died in 
1906. They were the parents of twelve children, five of whom are 
now living: Harriette, Catherine, Phoebe, Joshua and Dunham, the 
subject of this sketch. Dunham Davis received his education in 
Oxford. After leaving school he engaged in farming, retiling a 
farm from his father for three years. He then moved to Oxford 
and established a livery business where he remained but a short 
time. Desiring to return to farm life, he located on a farm of 
sixty-one acres in section 35, Oxford township, which he afterwards 
bought and where he now resides. He is a firm believer in fine- 
blooded stock, specializing in thoroughbred Duroc Jersey hogs 
and high grade horses. He has always taken an active interest in 
the affairs of his community, having been president of the Oxford 
township school board for thirteen years and is now township trus- 
tee, which office he has held for eight years. Mr. Davis was married 
in 1876 to Ella S. Rumple, daughter of William and Mary (Carr) 
Rumple. Three children were born to this union : Donald, Eliza- 
beth, and William, now deceased. Donald answered the call of his 
country in the great World war, serving in the 324th Heavy Field 
Artillery, and seeing six months' service overseas. 

Moody Davis. One of the best known and most esteemed of 
the retired farmers of Liberty township, Butler county, Ohio, is 
Moody Davis. He comes from a family of agriculturists and from 
the outset of his career demonstrated that he was of the type which 
is bound to succeed. Realizing that the young man who applies 
himself diligently and conscientiously can work his way to the 
top and become an influential figure in agriculture the same as in any 
other line of human endeavor he determined to follow in the foot- 
steps of his father. Endowed with farseeing vision and of unques- 
tioned honesty he soon became known as one of the promising 
young agriculturists of his community and his neighbors were 
pleased with his success. Although he has given up active farming 
after a long and useful career he still manifests much interest in 
affairs pertaining to the farm and his knowledge of intricate phases 
of planting, etc., is such that his counsel is frequently sought by 
his neighbors. His parents were among the early settlers of Butler 
county and located in that section when the extensive cultivated 
fields of today were vast prairies. Almond and Maria (Herr) Davis, 
the parents, were not only among the old settlers of Butler county, 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 159 

but they were also among the most highly esteemed in that com- 
munity. The father was known as a man whose friendship was to 
be prized, as his loyalty to his neighbors was such that he would 
undergo the most trying sacrifice in order to promote the well-being 
of his fellowmen. He was a native of Vermont and possessed the 
characteristic vigor and assertiveness of the typical New Englander. 
He migrated to Butler county when a young man and was married 
there. After marriage he and his wife moved to Warren county, 
Ohio, and remained there about five years, in the meantime Moody 
having been born. The longing for Butler county with its decided 
advantages as an agricultural section was such that the couple 
returned there, locating in Liberty township, where both lived on a 
farm until death. He passed away in 1883 and his wife died in 1906. 
To this couple seven children were born, four of whom are now 
living: Harry, Elizabeth, Moody and Joseph. Harry, who married 
Elizabeth Jacobs and has four children, Gordon, Joseph, Fred and 
Alice, makes his home with Moody; Elizabeth is the wife of J. 
Corwin Elliott and Joseph married Lena Kopp. The name of Davis 
has been inseparably associated with some of the most important 
movements of the early days which had for their purpose the de- 
velopment of the agricultural prestige of Butler county. It is but 
natural that the children should seek to perpetuate the estimable 
distinction achieved by their parents for doing things. Moody Davis 
for many years before his retirement was recognized as a man of 
much initiative and energy, who was revered as a neighbor and 
admired for his high character. He has always been a firm believer 
in the agricultural future of Butler county, and despite the fact 
that on numerous occasions he had opportunities to locate elsewhere 
he could not be induced to give up his residence in Liberty township. 
Although he has never taken active interest in politics he has been 
identified with undertakings that had for their purpose the promo- 
tion of the best interests of his community. 

Truman Davis. Farming, in all its branches, has been consid- 
ered an excellent line of business since the beginning of civilization, 
but it has only been in comparatively recent years that it has been 
developed to a state of perfection and has taken its proper place 
among the occupations followed by mankind. In the present day 
of progress and enlightenment, the farmers are operating along 
scientific lines, and one in Butler county who has recognized the 
value accruing through the following of modern methods and the 
use of improved inventions is Truman Davis, the owner of a valuable 
and well-improved property in Union township, Mr. Davis was 
born in this township, May 22, 1878, a son of Almond and Jennie 
(Kerr) Davis, both of this county. The father, a member of an 
old family, spent his entire life as an agriculturist in Butler county, 
where he owned 160 acres of land, and died highly esteemed and 
respected. A complete review of his career and the history of the 
Davis family will be found elsewhere in this work in the sketch of 
Moody Davis. Of the children born to Almond and Jennie Davis, one 
is deceased, and Mary and Truman survive. Truman Davis received 
his education in a country school in Butler county, and secured his 



160 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

introduction to agricultural methods under the excellent preceptor- 
ship of his father. Later, after renting some land for a time, he was 
married and at that time began operations on a rented tract of 135 
acres in Fairfield township, on which he made his home for four 
years, subsequently going to Liberty township, where he rented 
160 acres for six years. During his residence in that township he 
served as a member of the board of township trustees. In 1914, Mr. 
Davis came to Union township and purchased the old Pocock farm, 
of 240 acres, on which he has s.ince made numerous improvements. 
He engages in general farming, feeds from seventy-five to 150 hogs 
each year, and also handles a good grade of cattle, and in each 
direction has been successful in his efforts. He is a man of pro- 
gressive ideas and great industry, and enjoys the confidence and 
esteem of the people in the community in which his pleasant home 
is located. Since coming to Union township he has served compe- 
tently as a member of the board of school directors. Politically 
he is inclined to be a Democrat, but has independent ideas which 
keep him from being a radical. Air. Davis married Emma, daughter 
of John S. and Laura Tuley, and they are the parents of five chil- 
dren : Clarabelle, ^ohn A., Helen, Warren T., and Lillian Rebecca. 

James T. Davison, who, with his wife, owns a beautiful farm 
of 104 acres lying in Union township, Butler county, is a native of 
this township but has not spent all his life here. His birth took 
place May 10, 1863, son of John and Sarah (Carr) Davison. In early 
life the father was a farmer in Butler county, but when James T. 
was six years old he moved to St. Paul, Ind., where he found profit- 
able work for a time in a stone quarry, but later returned to agri- 
cultural pursuits and was a farmer in Rush county, Ind., during the 
remainder of his life. Of his family of eight children there are six 
living: James T. being the only one in Butler county. He enjoyed 
public school advantages in Rush county, Ind., and began life there 
as a farmhand, subsequently renting land for ten years in Rush 
county, at the end of that period embarking in the lumber business. 
For sixteen years Mr. Davison continued to be interested in lumber, 
in 1900 coming back to his native county, where he has resided 
ever since and where he is now engaged in farming. In 1913, he 
married Anna, daughter of Fred and Nancy (Lemon) Wicke, who 
were prominent people in Union township for many years, the father 
of Mrs. Davison being a man of substantial fortune and a leader in 
public affairs in Union township. Mr. and Mrs. Davison are well 
known and highly esteemed. They are members of the Presby- 
terian church of West Chester. Although Mr. Davison has never 
accepted any political office for himself he loyally supports his 
friends when they believe, as he does, in the principles of the old 
Democratic party. 

John C. Day. In the death of John C. Day, which occurred April 
8, 1915, Butler county lost one of its public-spirited citizens, a man 
whose life had been an exemplary one, and who by his honest and 
upright manner had won the respect and esteem of all who knew 
him. Mr. Day was for many years engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits in Ross township, where he left his descendants the heritage 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 161 

of an honored name, as well as material property that represented 
years of honest and industrious labor. He was born at Bevistown, 
Hamilton county, Ohio, May 23, 1861, a son of George and Anna 
(Fried) Day, natives of Germany. The parents were married in 
the land of their nativity, shortly after which they emigrated to the 
United States and settled in Hamilton county, where they passed the 
rest of their lives in the pursuits of agriculture and were well and 
familiarly known to the people of their community as honest. God- 
fearing people. They were the parents of the following children : 
John C. ; Henry, Joseph and Louis, residents of Hamilton county ; 
August, of Dayton, Ky., Anna, of Hamilton county, who married 
Chris Weber, and Helena, the wife of Henry Listerman, also of 
Hamilton county. John C. Day attended the public school at Bevis- 
town and remained at home assisting his father until his marriage, 
October 12, 1884, to Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Lam- 
mat) Martin, natives of Germany and early residents of near Cin- 
cinnati, who passed the later years of their lives in agricultural 
operations in Hamilton county and were people well known and 
greatly respected. In the Martin family there were born the fol- 
lowing children : Jacob, who is deceased ; George, who makes his 
home with his sister, Mrs. Day ; Barbara, the wife of Henry 
Schaefer; Christiana, who maried Michael Kneppel; Catherine, who 
became the wife of Anthony Huber; Mary, who married Henry 
Kettleman; Philomena, deceased; Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Day; 
and Joseph. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Day settled on a 
farm in Morgan township, w^here they made their home for four 
years, and then came to Ross township took up a property on the 
Millville pike, from which they moved to the present Day farm, 
formerly the Bachmann place, a tract of 336 acres. Here Mr. Day 
continued successfully as a farmer and cattle raiser until his death. 
Mr. Day was a good farmer, a kind friend and an excellent citizen. 
He was a member of St. Aloysius Catholic church and made his re- 
ligion his daily companion, being at all times ready to assist the 
sick or distressed. Kind and charitable to all, he was greatly missed, 
and his sorrowing family was the recipient of many messages of 
condolence from those who had known and admired him. In poli- 
tics a Democrat, he did not seek office, although he answered the 
call of citizenship and acted ably as supervisor and in other town- 
ship capacities. He and his wife were the parents of fifteen children : 
Catherine, who married Anthony Roth and resides at Lindenwald, 
Ohio; Aloysius, of Hamilton, who married Frances Staarman and 
has two children, Paul and Margaret ; Eleanora, who married John 
Mayberry, of near Shandon, and has four children, Herman, Andrew, 
Marcella and Joseph ; Leona, who is deceased ; Emma, Cletus, 
Edward, Theresa, Mathilda, Mello, Leo, Hilda, Dorothy; Bertha, 
who died when five years of age ; and Ralph. Mrs. Day, who sur- 
vives her husband, still resides on the home farm, and is highly 
esteemed in her locality, where, during her long residence, she had 
drawn unto herself many lasting friendships. 

David H. De Armond. A prominent and energetic figure in 
the business world of Hamilton during the past twenty years, David 



162 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

H. De Armond is widely known in the real estate field as well as to 
the automobile trade. In both of his business connections he has 
met with unqualified success, and in his daily activities has demon- 
strated the possession of splendid business qualifications. Mr. 
De Armond was born on a farm in the southwestern part of Morgan 
township, Butler county, O., a son of Joseph De Armond. His 
paternal granfather was King De Armond, one of the notable char- 
acters of the early days of Butler county, whence he came in 1823 
from Western Pennsylvania. He took up a tract of land in the 
woods, cleared the timber by infinite labor, and finally succeeded in 
the establishing of a home, where he lived peacefully and quietly 
until the gold strike in California caused thousands of hopeful men 
from every part of the world to make the trip to the Golden State 
in quest of the precious metal. King De Armond was one of those 
to make the rush, but soon discovered that fortunes were not to 
be picked up by all and decided to return to his farm. On the return 
journey cholera broke out on shipboard, he fell a victim, died, and 
was buried at sea. He married Nancy Loyd of Pennsylvania, who 
died at Shelbyville, Ind., and they became the parents of four chil- 
dren ; King, who met his death in a gold mine accident in Idaho, 
in 1870; Joseph, the father of David H.; Elizabeth and Priscilla. 
All are now deceased. Joseph De Armond received his education in 
the home schools and also took a course in medicine, with the orig- 
inal intention of entering that profession as a practitioner, but was 
dissuaded from his object and instead of a professional life led an 
agricultural one. He passed his entire career on a farm in Morgan 
township, was an industrious, thrifty and successful farmer, and 
won the respect and esteem of his fellow-citizens. His death oc- 
curred in 1895, while his widow survived until 1917. They were 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and the parents of the 
following children : John H., who was on the police force of Ham- 
ilton for many years and is now a United States Government guard; 
David H. ; Evelyn, who married Charles Falkenstein, of Hamilton, 
O. ; William, who is an automobile mechanician of Hamilton ; 
James A., a resident of Chicago, and conductor on the Michigan 
Air Line Railroad ; Emmasetta, who is the wife of Alex De Armond, 
in partnership in the automobile business with David H. De Ar- 
mond at Hamilton ; Alfred, who died in 1893 ; and Clyde, who died 
February 17, 1917. David H. De Armond attended the public graded 
and high schools, and entered upon his career as a school teacher. 
For six years he was engaged in molding the minds of the rural 
youths, and then gave up the profession of educator to accept em- 
ployment in the business world as a traveling salesman for the 
Jersey Packing company, of Hamilton, his territory being in the 
western states. During this time he had his attention brought to 
the opportunities to be found in the real estate business, and began 
experimenting in a small way. Early successes encouraged him 
to further investments, and eventually he decided to turn his entire 
attention and abilities to this business. Accordingly, in 1902, he 
embarked in the business in partnership with Jo Williams, and 
they continued together until 1918, with offices in the Rentschler 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 163 

building. They have been very successful in handling city and 
farm property, and have been the medium through which some 
large deals have been consummated. In 1918 the firm of Williams 
and De Armond was dissolved, Mr. De Armond forming a partner- 
ship with C. B. Thompson, of Hamilton, Ohio, under the firm 
name of De Armond & Thompson, with offices at 513-514 Rentschler 
building. The new firm met with phenomenal success from the 
beginning of its existence and is rated one of the most enterprising 
in Hamilton. In 1909, realizing the trend of affairs in regard to the 
use of the automobile, Mr. De Armond founded the Central Motor 
Company of Hamilton, and this was incorporated in the following 
year, with these officers: David H. De Armond, president; James 
A. Cox, vice-president and treasurer; and Frank Welsh, secretary. 
Later, Mr. Cox disposed of his interests and H. C. Snively succeeded 
him as vice-president and treasurer. In 1919 Mr. Snively disposed 
of his holding to Alex De Armond and Frank Welsh, who together 
with Mr. D. H. De Armond now control this enterprising and suc- 
cessful concern. This company conducts a selling agency for motor 
cars and trucks, maintains a service station, and handles Buick cars 
and Master trucks. In addition to being one of his city's prominent 
business men, Mr. De Armond has also been prominent in public 
affairs and active in politics. He is a staunch Democrat and on 
that ticket was elected clerk of the council one term and director 
of public safety two terms. He is personally popular with a wide 
circle of friends and enjoys the companionship of his fellows, being 
a life member of the Elks lodge No. 93 and the Knights of Pythias 
No. 39. Mr. De Armond married Miss Maude Heilman, of Preble 
county, O. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
John Peter Deitsch, the owner of a ninety-eight acre farm in 
Ross township, Butler county, Ohio, is one of the many highly pro- 
ductive farmers of this township. This property, formerly owned by 
his father, is considered one of the most desirable of its acreage in the 
township, as the soil is of the best and every consideration appears 
to be in its favor. Mr. Deitsch has had the greatest degree of 
success during the years that he has operated the farm and consid- 
ering his past achievements the future could not be more reassuring. 
Born in Butler county, September 6, 1867, he was the oldest of 
three children of Peter and Frances (Zettler) Deitsch, the other 
two being Frank, deceased, and Frances. The father was a native 
of France and the mother came to Ohio from Germany, and during 
their long residence in Butler county were highly esteemed by their 
neighbors. After their marriage in Hamilton they settled on a 
farm in Ross township and were devout members of St. Joseph's 
Roman Catholic church of Hamilton. John Peter was educated in 
the grammar schools and also St. Joseph's parochial school at Ham- 
ilton, and was possessed of the vigor and stamina so characteristic 
of the farmer boy which has placed him among the influential agri- 
culturists of Butler county. He married Miss Louisa Ast, daughter 
of Andrew and Mary (Kramer) Ast, who were widely and favorably 
known throughout Butler county. The other children besides 
Louisa were — Anna, Nellie, Carrie, Mamie, John and Jacob. The 



164 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

members of this family were devout Roman Catholics. After their 
marriage Mr. Deitsch and wife moved to the farm in Ross township, 
which was well improved when he took it over. He has added many 
modern improvements. Because of his long association with af- 
fairs pertaining to the farm he is recognized as an authority on 
such matters and is also known as a man of the utmost business 
integrity. While he has never taken active interest in politics he 
is a Democrat. He is a parishioner of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic 
church and was identified with the numerous World war activities. 
Charles Dell. An instance of a man starting out in life with 
few visible assets, and through wise disposal of his opportunities 
transforming his condition into one of more than ordinary pros- 
perity and influence, is found in the rise of Charles Dell, now a 
retired resident of Middletown, where for many years he was pro- 
prietor of the City Hotel. Mr. Dell was born May 25, 1835, at 
Wildungen, Germany, a son of Morris and Margaret Dell, who 
passed their entire lives at that place. There were the following 
children in the family : Katie, who died in Europe ; Frederick, a 
shoemaker by trade, who joined his brother at Middletown in 1861, 
and died at this place ; Charles ; Christian, a shoemaker, who died 
in Europe ; and Charlotte, who also passed her life in Germany. 
Charles Dell attended the public schools of his native place, and as 
a young man learned the trade of shoemaker in his father's shop. 
He decided to seek his fortune in the United States, his arrival in 
this country being in the year 1854. In the fall of that year he left 
Philadelphia and located at Dayton, which city at that time had a 
population of but 10,000. While he knew his trade, he could not 
readily find employment and so accepted a place with B. F. Eltz, 
for whom he hauled wood, took care of the stock and performed odd 
jobs, for a salary of $5 per month. Later he found work at his 
trade at Franklin, where he remained one year, and then came to 
Middletown, where he worked at his vocation, being for some time 
employed by various firms here. He then again went to Franklin, 
where he worked for some time in the shoe shop of John Kaiser, 
but in 1866 again came to Middletown and was variously employed. 
During all this time his industry and thrift had enabled him to 
accumulate some capital, which, in 1876, he invested in the building 
of the City Hotel. During the next twenty-two years he acted as 
host of this establishment, which became one of the most popular 
in the city, being well patronized by the traveling public because 
of the excellence of its service and the geniality of its proprietor. 
When he retired from active work, Mr. Dell turned the management 
of the hotel over to his son, Frank, who conducted it until 1916. 
Mr. Dell still retains ownership of this property. Mr. Dell is now 
living in his comfortable home at 1024 East Third street, where he 
is enjoying the fruits of his many years of earnest and unremitting 
labor. He was married at Trenton, O., to Margaret Yeager, who 
was born in Germany, and they became the parents of nine children, 
as follows : Charles, engaged in the mining business at Los Angeles, 
Cal. ; Mary, who married first Oliver Hall and second Edward 
Frisch and resides at Middletown ; George, deceased, who was a 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 165 

plumber at Cincinnati; Anna, who resides with her father; Frank, 
retired, who conducted the hotel business for eighteen years ; Otto, 
a broker of Chicago; Clara, who married James Kemble, a Chicago 
broker; Dr. August, a practising physician of Middletown ; and 
Harry, an attorney of this city. Charles Dell is a member of the 
Lutheran church of Middletown. His career emphasizes the worth 
of perseverance, good judgment, wise investment and economy, of 
careful development of children in ways of obedience, gratitude and 
painstaking methods, and of cheerfulness in labor, combined with 
looking on the bright side of things and expecting the best that the 
time and occupation affords. Mrs. Dell died February 28, 1919, and 
was buried at Middletown. 

Alfred Demoret, veteran of the Civil war, one of the leading 
citizens of the thriving community of Venice, and formerly a suc- 
cessful and prominent agriculturist in the vicinity of that place, 
belongs to an old and honored family, and one whose members 
have distinguished themselves in various avenues of life's activities. 
He was born on a farm in Ross township, Butler county, Ohio, 
being a son of Joseph and Mary (Couley) Demoret, and a grandson 
of Nicholas Demoret. Nicholas Demoret was born in France, and 
as a youth emigrated to America, where not long afterward he 
joined Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne in one of his expeditions 
against the Indians. He was married in Pennsylvania to Lydia 
Bennett, and following their union they came down the Ohio river 
on a flatboat and took up their residence at Cincinnati. In 1815 
they removed to Butler county, where they spent the rest of their 
lives on a farm, and when they died were laid to rest in the cemetery 
at Venice. They were the parents of the following children : Louis, 
Samuel, John, Bartholomew, James K., Joseph, Lydia, Jane and 
Mary. Joseph Demoret was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, and following 
his marriage to Mary Couley settled two and one-half miles north- 
west of Venice, where both rounded out long, useful and honorable 
careers and died with the respect and esteem of their townspeople. 
They were the parents of William, who served during the Civil 
war, in the Army of the Cumberland, as a private in Company F, 
93d Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Capt. Robert Joyce, Col. 
Charles Anderson; Alfred, of this notice; Louis; James; Samuel; 
Joseph E. ; Mary E. Alfred Demoret was born February 7, 1843, 
and received a public school education in Butler county. He was 
reared on the home farm and was employed in assisting his father 
when the Civil war came on, and, with his brother, William, and 
his cousin, Ellis N., a son of James K. Demoret, he enlisted in 
Company F, 93d Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Demoret 
saw two years and ten months of active service with this regiment, 
which was attached to the Army of the Cumberland and engaged in 
battles in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. Among his battles 
were Stone River, Chickamauga, Liberty Gap, Orchard Knob, Mis- 
sionary Ridge, Resaca, Pickett's Mills, Peach-tree Creek, Atlanta, 
Jonesboro, Franklin and Nashville, and June 8, 1865, the war being 
over, the brave and gallant young soldier received his honorable 
discharge and was mustered out of the service. Resuming the 



166 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

duties of civil life, he returned to the home farm, and one year later 
was united in marriage with Amanda M., daughter of George W. 
and Emmeline (Brundage) Ent, who had the following brothers 
and sisters : Eliza, John and Marilda, all older than she, and George 
W., Jane, William and James L., who were younger. After their 
marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Demoret located on a farm in Ross town- 
ship, and with the exception of two years in Milford township made 
that their home until 1893, when they occupied their present pleas- 
ant home at Venice, Mr. Demoret working at the carpenter trade 
till 1915, when he practically retired from active life. Mr. Demoret 
is a man of absolute integrity and commendable public spirit and 
maintains a high standing in the community. He gave good proof of 
his loyalty during the war, in which two of his grandsons engaged, 
and in which he was a large contributor to the Red Cross, Liberty 
Bond and other movements. His political tendencies cause him to 
vote the Democratic ticket, and he is still one of the popular com- 
rades of Wetzel Compton Post, G. A. R., at Hamilton. Mr. and 
Mrs. Demoret have had the following children : Charles E., of Ross 
township, who married Ella Decker, and has two children, — Isaac 
A. and Sarah ; William C, who married Sadie Decker and had two 
sons, Ernest and Gordon, and after her death married Emma 
Lehrmann ; Louis S., who is unmarried of Ross township, Butler 
county; Frank S., who married Josie Lesourd and after her death 
took for his second wife Flossie Stinger ; and John A., who is un- 
married. Ernest and Gordon Demoret, sons of William C. Demoret, 
entered their country's service and were sent overseas to France, 
where Ernest was identified with the Aviation Corps and Gordon 
with the Motor Truck service, hauling supplies to the front. 

J. A. Deneen. Butler county is fortunate in having as super- 
intendent of the county infirmary and farm the present efficient and 
popular incumbent, whose executive ability and industrial experi- 
ence admirably fortify him for the manifold responsibilities that 
rest upon him in connection with the farm operations and the 
proper care of the unfortunate wards of the well ordered institution. 
The official who holds this position is Mr. Deneen, and his execu- 
tive loyalty is undoubtedly augmented by the fact that he is a 
native son of Butler county and takes deep interest in all things 
touching its welfare. The farm which is now owned by 
the county and utilized for the infirmary is the birth place of Mr. 
Deneen himself, who was born the 31st of March, 1866, at the time 
of his father's administration. The Deneen family has long been 
one of prominence and influence in Butler county, and on other 
pages of this work are given adequate data concerning its history, 
specially in the sketch dedicated to Samuel Deneen. He whose 
name introduces this review received his youthful education in 
the public schools of Fairfield and Liberty townships, with sup- 
plementary discipline in the high school at Monroe. After leaving 
school he was engaged in farming in Liberty township, and there- 
after he conducted successful operations as an agriculturist and 
stock grower in Liberty township, where he at one time farmed 
265 acres. During the course of his independent career as a farmer 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 167 

he always gave special attention to the breeding and raising of fine 
live stock, including pure blood Poland China sw^ine, Jersey cattle 
and Hampshiredown sheep. It may be noted in this connection that 
for thirty-five years he was thus engaged in raising full-blooded 
hogs of the best type, that Jersey cattle were continuously raised 
by him for a quarter of a century, and that he was a prominent 
grower of the Hampshiredown sheep for twelve years. He exhibited 
his live stock at numerous county fairs, not only in Ohio but also in 
Indiana and Michigan, and always proved a prize-winner at such 
exhibitions, even as he did in his exhibits at the Ohio State fair. 
In connection with his farm enterprise he conducted a successful 
dairy department for twenty-five years, and in connection with his 
varied and progressive activities he did much to improve the grades 
of live stock raised in this section of his native state. He continued 
his independent enterprise as one of the prominent and representa- 
tive agriculturists and stock growers of Butler county until 1918. 
when he was appointed to and assumed the office of superintendent 
of the county infirmary and farm. He is the owner of a valuable farm 
of 154 acres, in Liberty township, is a man of fine personality and 
commands the unreserved confidence and esteem of the people 
of his native county. In politics he gives his allegiance to the 
Democratic party and he has ever been vigorous in support of 
measures and enterprises advanced for the general welfare of the 
community. On the 23d of February, 1888, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Deneen to Miss Carrie T. Williamson, who like- 
wise was born and reared in Butler county and who is a daughter 
of Ezra T. and Martha Williamson. Of the two children of this 
union the firstborn was Ralph W., who died at the age of fourteen 
years ; Lawrence E., who is actively identified with farm industry 
in Butler county, married Miss Jean Sample, of Columbus, Ohio, 
and they have two children, Donald and Douglas, who now live on 
the old Deneen homestead. 

Lawn-ence Deneen, one of the best known stockmen of Ohio, 
was born at Maud, O., Butler county, Ohio, September 29, 1895. 
He is a son of Jacob Deneen, a sketch of whom will be found else- 
where in this work. He received his early education at Monroe, 
Ohio, and after being graduated from the high school there was 
matriculated at Ohio State university at Columbus. He devoted his 
entire time at college to the agricultural course, receiving the degree 
of B. S. of agriculture in 1917. His devotion to science in nowise 
impaired his social popularity; he was a member of the Phi Gamma 
Delta fraternit)^ and was elected president and secretary of his 
class in his junior year. After the completion of his college career 
he returned to his father's farm and is now actively engaged in 
the management of that 154-acre property. He has attained unusual 
success in the breeding of thoroughbred Jersey cattle, Hampshire- 
down sheep, and Poland China hogs. He has exhibited with his 
father in county fairs in the States of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan 
and in the years 1916, 1917, 1918 won the Sweepstake Prize at 
Hamilton with his Jersey cattle. Mr. Deneen was married in 1916 
to Jean, a daughter of Edward and Mary Sample of Washington, Pa., 



168 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

and to their union have been born two children : Donald and Doug- 
las. Politically the principles of the Democratic party conform 
nearest to his views, but he is liberal and progressive in recognizing 
that the man takes preeminence over the party. 

Samuel Deneen, a retired farmer of Monroe, and one of the 
substantial men of Butler county, was formerly active in agricul- 
tural matters, and for fourteen years served as superintendent of the 
Butler County infirmary. He was born in Riley township, Butler 
county, O., January 23, 1831,- a son of Alexander and Martha 
(Beyers) Deneen, and grandson of James and Mary (Cresswell) 
Deneen, natives of Pennsylvania, who, in 1800, came from their 
native state to Cincinnati, O., making the trip down the Ohio river 
in a flatboat. At that time Cincinnati was but a small settlement, 
and for five years they were engaged in farming there, in what Is 
now the very center of the business portion of the city. In 1805 
they moved to Riley township, Butler county, where James DeNeen 
secured a section of government land, all of which was totally un- 
cultivated, and he at once went to work to clear and develop it. 
On this land he erected a little log cabin and he and his wife went 
through many experiences and suffered from the hardships naturally 
attendant upon pioneer life. Upon one occasion his wife set out for 
a neighbor's, some distance from home, to try and secure her help 
in a proposed job, for in those days the pioneers were willing to 
assist each other in all their work. A storm came up, and the poor 
lady lost her way, and wandered about all night in the snow. Her 
feet were badly frozen, and she was attacked by the wolves. Prob- 
ably she never forgot her experiences during the remainder of her 
life. James Deneen was a soldier during the American Revolution 
and he lived to be eighty-three years of age. Both he and his wife 
were consistent members of the Presbyterian church. Their chil- 
dren were as follows : Eliza, Betsy, Ann, an unnamed infant, Hettie 
and Alexander. Alexander Deneen was born January 1, 1800, in 
Pennsylvania, and was an infant when his parents brought him to 
Cincinnati, O., and only five years old when they arrived in Riley 
township. In those early days there were but few schools, and they 
were located long distances apart. Alexander Deneen had to walk 
three miles each way in order to secure the little schooling that 
came his way, but he made the most of his opportunities, and de- 
veloped into a practical, well-informed man. After his marriage, he 
located on his father's homestead, and lived on it until his death, 
which occurred when he was eighty-four years old from typhoid 
fever. His wife died in 1864, aged fifty-eight years, a devout mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church. Politically Alexander Deneen was 
a Democrat. He and Mrs. Deneen had the following children : Mary 
Jane, who died at the age of two years ; James, who was a farmer, 
is deceased ; Martha Ann, who married Malcolm Peters ; Samuel, 
whose name heads this review ; Mary J., a widow who lives at 
Oxford, O., was married (first) to Elisha London, and (second) 
to Alonzo Warren ; John, who was a farmer, is deceased ; Elizabeth, 
who married Hiram Linley, is deceased, and so is her husband; 
Margaret, who married Isaac Wilson, lives at Chicago, 111. ; William, 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 169 

who was a butcher and farmer, is deceased ; Washington, who was 
a farmer of Riley township ; and Alfred, who conducts a truck 
garden in Kansas. Samuel Deneen attended the common schools 
of his native township, and assisted his father in the farm work, 
remaining at home until his marriage in 1858, when he engaged 
in farming on his own account, renting land in Riley township, and 
operating it until his appointment, in 1864, as superintendent of 
the Butler County infirmary, and held that position for fourteen 
years. He then bought a farm of eighty acres, one and one-half 
miles south of Monroe, later adding forty acres to it, and here he 
lived until 1896, when he moved to Bethany and spent a year. Mr. 
Deneen then retired, and came to Monroe, where he has since resided. 
Politically he is a Democrat, and he served Monroe as trustee for 
one year. January 22, 1858, Samuel Deneen and Sarah C. Trembley 
were united in marriage. She was born in Riley township, Butler 
county, O., August 3, 1837, a daughter of Amos and Martha (Alex- 
ander) Trembley. Amos Trembley was born in Riley township, in 
1811, a son of Daniel V. and Mary (Ross) Trembley, pioneers of 
Riley township, who had the following children: Peter, Samuel, 
Daniel, Sistes, Nancy, Mary, Margaret, Rebecca, Sarah and Amos. 
The Alexander family came from Pennsylvania to Riley township at 
a very early day. The parents of Martha (Alexander) Trembley 
had the following children : William, Henry, Lewis, Joseph, Eliza- 
beth, Nancy and Martha. Amos Trembley and his wife had children 
as follows : Daniel, who was a farmer, is deceased ; Sarah C, who 
is Mrs. Deneen; Cynthia, who is deceased; James, who is deceased; 
Rebecca ; and an unnamed infant. Mr. and Mrs. Deneen became 
the parents of six children, three of whom survive, namely : Flor- 
ence, who was married (first) to Charles Hughes, and (second) to 
John Seward of Hamilton, O. ; Addie, who married James Tooley, 
lives at Hamilton, O., has two children, — Hirshel and Ernest ; and 
Jacob A., who is a stockman and farmer, and county superintendent 
of the Butler county infirmary, married Carrie Williamson, and has 
one son, — Lawrence. Both Mr. and Mrs. Deneen stand very high 
in public estimation, and have attached to them a number of warm 
personal friends at Monroe and all over Butler county. They are 
kindly, charitable people, who have always done their full duty as 
they saw it, and their children are numbered among the desirable 
residents of their several communities. In his public life Mr. 
Deneen carried out humane policies, and it was generally recognized 
that his judgments were upright and sincere. 

D. Frank Dick. During the period that D. Frank Dick has 
been engaged in the real estate business at Hamilton, he has been 
one of the potent forces in the upbuilding of the city and is credited 
with having been instrumental in the development of several fine 
residential sections. When he first took up this business, several 
sections of the city were restricted in area and population, but gave 
promise of attaining a position of importance, and Mr. Dick, who 
was possessed of an unusual amount of energy, had a large part 
:n the city's growth. His career as a successful realty man has 
t)een made the more satisfactory through the fact that he is building 



170 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

up the community of his nativity, he having been born at Hamilton, 
a son of David H. and Mary Jane (Baty) Dick, early settlers of 
Butler county. David H. Dick died before he reached his thirtieth 
year, leaving three children : D. Frank; Mrs. Hon. Henry C. Gray, of 
Hamilton ; and one who died in infancy. Mrs. Dick was again 
married after the death of her first husband, to Wm. Sample, and 
he also passed away before the attainment of his thirtieth year, leav- 
ing two children, both now deceased. D. Frank Dick received his 
early education in the public schools of Hamilton and when still a 
lad went with his mother to Millville, where he also attended the 
graded schools, subsequently supplementing this attendance by a 
course at Miami university, Oxford, Ohio. For several years there- 
after he followed farming as an employee and then embarked in 
agricultural pursuits upon his own account, and for twenty years 
was accounted one of the practical, progressive farmers of his local- 
ity, a splendid judge of cattle and a scientific tiller of the soil who 
studied his calling and lent dignity of labor to its operation. During 
all this period he had been more or less interested in the real estate 
business of which he made a close and careful study, and his early 
ventures therein encouraged him to enlarge his scope, until finally 
his holdings became of such volume that he decided to give up 
agricultural work in favor of the realty field. He now maintains 
offices at Park and Dick avenues and his transactions are extensive 
in character, having involved some of the largest deals of recent 
years ?t Hamilton. While he is shrewd and a keen business man, 
ready 1o accept every opportunity, he is honorable in his dealings 
and thus occupies an excellent position in public esteem and the 
confidence of his associates. He is a member of the Presbyterian 
church of Hamilton, of which he was for some years a trustee, and 
has contributed materially and generously to worthy religious, edu- 
cational and charitable movements. He and Mrs. Dick make their 
home at their beautiful residence on Park and Dick avenues, in a 
community which has been developed under the supervision of Mr. 
Dick, and which is one of the exclusive residence districts of the 
city. In 1871, at Hamilton, Mr. Dick was united in marriage with 
Miss Louise Beal, who was born at Hamilton and has passed her 
entire life here, a woman very popular in social and church circles 
and one keenly interested in the important movements of the day, 
particularly as they affect her home locality. To this union there 
have been born four children, of whom two survive : Russie Dick 
Seidensticker, the wife of a well-known jewelry merchant at Hamil- 
ton ; and Carrie, who is the wife of Elmore Frechtling, who is en- 
gaged in the insurance business at Hamilton. 

John Wilson Dick. In enumerating the wide-awake agricul- 
turists of Hanover township mention must be made of John Wilson 
Dick. He is widely and favorably known by the business interests 
as well as agriculturists of Butler county and enjoys the esteem of 
all. He was born in Ross township, Butler county, the son of 
Samuel and Isabelle (Parks) Dick. He was educated in the schools 
of the township and on February 20, 1884, married Emma F. Orms- 
ton, daughter of David and Nancy (Stone) Ormston. Thomas Stone, 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 171 

an uncle of Mrs. Dick, was a captain in the Civil war. After his 
marriage Mr. Dick was engaged in the milling business at Hagers- 
town, Ind., for a time. Subsequently he farmed in Fairfield town- 
ship and later retired and moved to Hamilton. His son, George, 
who died in October, 1918, married Irene Taylor, daughter of Henry 
and Flora (Parson) Taylor. Enoch Taylor, a paternal ancestor, 
was in the Civil war, and William Parsons, Mrs. George Dick's 
maternal ancestor, also saw service throughout the Civil war. John 
Wilson Dick and wife divide their time between Hamilton and the 
farm in Hanover township. From time to time he has made vast 
improvements in this property, thereby making it one of the most 
attractive and productive farms in his section of Ohio. He was an 
energetic worker in all war activities, putting forth every effort to 
make all Liberty loan campaigns a success. He is a member of the 
Presbyterian church. 

Thomas J. Dickey was born in Madison township, Butler 
county, 1868. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth Dickey, both 
natives of this county, the father having been engaged in the pur- 
suits of agriculture during the major portion of his life. After he 
had acquired sufficient means to enable him to give up this arduous 
life he removed to West Middletown, Ohio, where he served as 
justice of the peace for a number of years. He and his wife were the 
parents of six children of whom Thomas J. Dickey is the only one 
living in this county. He attended the public schools of his native 
county and then took up farming with his father until the time of 
his marriage when he rented a farm in Madison township for three 
years. At the expiration of this period he moved to a farm near 
Poast Town where he resided for four years, thence locating in 
Warren county, farming there till February, 1918. In that month 
he took over the 220-acre Kyle farm in Liberty township which he is 
rapidly improving to take its place among the leading farms of that 
section. Socially he is prominent in the community and is a well- 
known member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Political- 
ly he adheres to the JefTersonian tradition although he has never 
cared to become a candidate for public office. On December 19. 
1894, Mr. Dickey was united in marriage to Maud, daughter of 
James Knox, and their union has been blessed by two children : 
Glynn, who died August, 1917, and Mildred still residing at home. 
H. Robert Dilg, one of the native sons of Hamilton, commenced 
his career in a modest position and today is accounted one of the 
city's influential citizens, in his capacity as treasurer of the Black- 
Clawson company. Mr. Dilg was born at Hamilton, a son of Fred- 
erick and Mary (Kline) Dilg, natives of Ohio, the former of Cincin- 
nati and the latter of Hamilton. The father was a pioneer merchant 
of Hamilton, and a man highly respected and esteemed, both because 
of his upright life and absolute integrity, and because of his record 
as a soldier during the Civil war, in which he fought bravely as a 
member of an Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He and his wife 
were the parents of six children : Catherine, Clara, Louise, Margaret, 
Mary and H. Robert. H. Robert Dilg received a public school edu- 
cation, and after graduating from high school became a bookkeeper 



172 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

for August Benninghofer. In 1891 he entered the employ of the 
Black-Clawson company, manufacturers of paper mill machinery, 
with which concern he has remained to the present time, having 
steadily advanced in position and influence until he is today treas- 
urer of this large concern and one of its heavy stockholders. His 
standing among business men of his community is that of a sound 
and conservative, yet progressive man of affairs, whose connections 
are important and whose friendships are numerous. He belongs to 
a number of social and fraternal bodies, and with his family, belongs 
to the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Dilg was married in 1895 
to Anna M., daughter of John and Magdalena Miller, of Hamilton, 
and they have four children : Romilda, Fred, Robert and Mary 
Elizabeth. 

Albert Dimmack. From the time of its inception, in 1900, until 
his resignation in 1919, Albert Dimmack was employed by the 
American Rolling mill in the capacity of roller and in this period 
established a reputation for integrity, honorable dealing, industry 
and fidelity that has since assisted him greatly in making a success 
of his venture as proprietor of a grocery at Middletown. In the com- 
mercial life of the city of his adoption, he has already made his in- 
fluence and ability felt, and the high standing which he enjoyed in 
the confidence of his fellow-workers in his former occupation, is 
due to be duplicated in his new avenue of activity. Mr. Dimmack 
was born at Bilston, Staffordshire, England, March 24, 1877, a son 
of Ephraim and Harriet (Bucknall) Dimmack, the latter of whom 
is living at Washington, Pa., where the father died. His maternal 
grandparents were George and Mary (Clark) Bucknall, natives of 
France. In the family were the following children : Sallie, who 
died in infancy ; Albert, of this notice ; Anna, who is the wife of S. 
A. Lowrey, of Washington, Pa. ; Ephraim, of Middletown ; Ernest 
D., of Los Angeles, Calif. ; Frank, of Wheeling, W. Va. ; Amy, of 
Wheeling, W. Va. ; Harriet, of Los Angeles, Calif. ; and Arthur, of 
Washington, Pa. The education of Albert Dimmack was obtained in 
the Springfield Academy of Bilston, England, and he was still a 
young man when he emigrated to the United States to work at his 
trade. In 1900, at the time of the opening of the American Rolling 
mill he came to Middletown and became one of this concern's first 
employees here, and did not sever his connection until 1918, when 
he bought his present business and commenced his career as a grocer. 
As a naturally clever man of business, he has already made a good 
start in his venture, and has a well-stocked, up-to-date and attrac- 
tive establishment at the corner of Sixth street and Curtis avenue, 
where he is enjoying an excellent patronage. In addition, he is the 
owner of a fine home on Curtis avenue and is interested in other 
property at Middletown. He is a self-made man in all that the word 
implies, as when he entered upon his career he had naught but his 
trade, his ambition and his determmation to assist him and from a 
modest start has worked his way to prosperity and business stand- 
ing. Mr. Dimmack is a clever and cultured Englishman, with a 
proper and intelligent appreciation of the higher things of life, as 
will be recognized by a visit to his home. He is a popular member 





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BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 173 

of the local lodges of the Masons and Elks, and on matters pertain- 
ing to politics takes something of an independent stand, preferring 
to judge candidates without the attachment of parties, and parties 
by principles. With his family, he belongs to the Episcopal church. 
In March, 1891, Mr. Dimmack was united in marriage with Miss 
Harriet Jeavons, who was born in England, December 29, 1876. To 
this union there have been born seven children : Elsie H., who is 
the wife of R. A. Long, of Middletown ; Albert; Lois Martha; Eph- 
raim; Marion, who is a senior in the Middletown high school; Aud- 
rey, who is a junior in the same institution ; and Ruth Mary, who 
resides at home with her parents. 

William S. Diver. The proprietor of Midland Farm, William S. 
Diver, has been the owner of this Butler county property since 1902, 
prior to which time he was variously engaged as a farmer and car- 
penter. In the development of his present farm, which is located 
three and one-half miles northwest of Middletown, on the Jackson- 
boro & Franklin road, he has brought into play native ability, in- 
dustry, and modern ideas, with the result that he has become one 
of the prosperous agriculturists of Madison township. Mr. Diver 
was born in Riley township, Butler county, March 31, 1862, a son of 
Jacob and Emma (Rish) Diver. His father was born at Seven Mile, 
O., a son of Nicholas Diver, of Wittenburg, Germany, who married 
a Miss Swope and came to the United States in 1845, settling west of 
Hamilton, O., where he followed farming, and where both he and 
Mrs. Diver passed away. They were the parents of nine children, 
of whom the following survive: Samuel, of Millville ; Jacob; Mar- 
garet, who married George Lebrick of Miamisburg, O. ; Elizabeth, 
the widow of Jacob Falkenstein, of Millville ; and Eliza, the wife of 
Joseph Weis, of Hamilton. Jacob Diver was given a common school 
education, and in early life was a shoemaker. Later he engaged in 
farming, and finally entered business affairs as a grain dealer and 
mill operator of Middletown, where he now makes his home. He 
has resided and carried on operations also at Bunker Hill, Seven 
Mile, West Elkton and other points, is well and favorably known as 
a business man and a citizen, and a review of his career will be found 
elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Diver, who was a native of Germany, 
died in 1894, in the faith of the Reformed church, of which her hus- 
band is a member. They were the parents of seven children : Wil- 
liam S. ; Charles E., an elevator operator of Middletown, a sketch of 
whom will be found in this work ; George, whose death occurred in 
boyhood ; Albert C., of Middletown ; Frank O., a mill owner of 
Middletown, whose sketch will be found in this publication ; Eliza- 
beth, the widow of Riley Schenck, who resides with her father ; and 
Minnie, the wife of Hugh Ayers, of Middletown. William S. Diver 
was educated in the local schools and resided under the parental 
roof until his marriage, September 11, 1884, to Miss Nettie Marshall, 
who was bom near Middletown, and daughter of Isaac and Eleanor 
(Doty) Marshall. Isaac was the only son of Henry and Rachel 
(Newland) Marshall, the latter of Dayton and the former of near 
Middletown, and Henry was a son of James Marshall, of New Jer- 
sey, who came to Ohio in 1800 and settled east of Middletown, where 



174 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

he secured a section of land and established a home. He had eight 
children : Esther, Jane, Benjamin, James, Henry, Isaac, Sallie and 
one other. Isaac Marshall, the father of Mrs. Diver, grew up on the 
old Marshall homestead, and was a farmer all his life. He was ac- 
tive as a Democrat in politics, and held several local ofifices, among 
them infirmary director and township trustee. He is a member of 
the Baptist church. Since his retirement, he has made his home at 
Middletown, where he has been well and favorably known for nearly 
a quarter of a century. His first wife, who died in 1879, was Eleanor 
Doty, who was born in Lemon township, Butler county, a daughter 
of Joseph and Mary (Vail) Doty, and a granddaughter of Daniel 
Doty and Stephen Vail, both from New Jersey. Joseph and Mary 
Doty had children as follows : George R., deceased ; Gilbert, of Mad- 
ison township, Butler county ; Vina, deceased ; Alice, who died single 
in California ; Jane, a resident of that state ; Eleanor ; and Mary and 
Martha, who died in infancy. After the death of his first wife, Isaac 
Marshall married Mrs. Martha Doty, the widow of Russell Doty, 
and a daughter of John Harkrader. His third wife bore the maiden 
name of Eliza Leibrock. Mr. Marshall's children by his first wife 
were as follows: Mrs. Diver; Dr. J. D., a practising physician of 
Hamilton, O.; Olive, the wife of Ed C. Stewart, of Middletown; 
Minnie, the wife of V. V. Puckett, of Hamilton; and Sarah, who 
died at the age of six years. Nine children have been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Diver : Lurten E., a street car conductor of Detroit, Mich., 
who married Mary Guilfoyle and has five children, Mary, Nettie, 
John, Helen and Lurten ; Emma, the wife of Garse Billett, a farmer 
of Madison township, with two children, William and Irma ; Olive, 
the wife of Verne McDonald, a farmer of Madison township, with 
three children, Chester, Lee and Zelma L. ; Ruby, the wife of D. 
Salmon of Madison township, and they have three children, May, 
Myrtle and Warren LeRoy, who married and enlisted May 
29, 1918, in the U. S. Field Artillery, and was stationed at Camp 
Taylor, Ky. ; and Wallace, Zelma, married Gust C. Chafifos, manager 
of the theaters in Middletown; Estell and William, residing with 
their parents. After his marriage, Mr. Diver located on the old 
Marshall homestead in Lemon township for a period of two years, 
then spent one year in Madison township as a farmer, following 
which he took up carpentry as a vocation and spent eleven years at 
that trade at Middletown and Dayton. He then went back to Lemon 
township for five years, but in 1902 bought his present place, a tract 
of 175 acres in section 4, Madison township, three and one-half miles 
northwest of Middletown, on the Jacksonboro & Franklin road. 
Midland farm is devoted to general farming, Mr. Diver having 100 
acres under cultivation and raising all kinds of grain, as well as de- 
voting some attention to the raising of live stock, mainly Percheron 
horses. He has given evidence of the possession of much ability as a 
progressive agriculturist, and the excellent improvements on his 
property are indicative of his industry and modern ideas. He votes 
the Democratic ticket, but is not a politician, although interested 
in everything that may eventuate beneficially for his community. 
With his family, he belongs to the Pleasant Ridge United Brethren 



BUTLEIR COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 175 

church. The families of Doty and Marshall from which Mrs. Diver 
is a descendant, can be traced directly to Edward Doty who came 
over on the Mayflower. 

Joseph W. Doron. Among the realty operators of Hamilton, 
one who has long been a leader in his field and who has contributed 
largely to the upbuilding of the community and the attracting of 
new interests and industries thereto, is Joseph W. Doron. He has 
been a resident of Hamilton for more than thirty years, and for the 
greater part of this time has been connected with the real estate 
business, having built up an excellent reputation through his exten- 
sive operations and the manner in which he has directed his transac- 
tions. Mr. Doron was born in Chesterfield, N. J., a son of Charles S. 
and Sarah (Bell) Doron, natives of Mount Holly, N. J. His father, 
who was a manufacturer of leather goods, spent his entire life in 
New Jersey, where he died in 1890, and Joseph W. Doron was the 
only one of the family to locate in Butler county, Ohio. After se- 
curing his education in the public schools of his native state, Mr. 
Doron became a traveling salesman, with headquarters at New York, 
from which city he traveled on the road for a big cloth manufactur- 
ing house for twenty-seven years. In 1888 he came to Hamilton, 
continuing to travel for several years, and in 1889 erected his hand- 
some home at No. 329 North C street, this being the second house 
built on Prospect hill. This land was originally owned by Stephen 
Hughes and later by Asa Shuler, from whom Mr. Doron purchased 
the entire addition of thirty-five lots, of which he has built on and 
sold the whole number with the exception of five. In 1889 Mr. 
Doron was married at Hamilton to Ellen, daughter of Asa and Mary 
(Sorber) Shuler, natives of Pennsylvania who came early to Hamil- 
ton, where Mr. Shuler was one of the founders of the Shuler & Ben- 
ninghofen plant. Mr. Shuler was born August 15, 1823, the second 
son of Samuel and Susanna (Weise) Shuler. In 1847 he came to 
Hamilton, and December 25, 1852 was married to Mary Sorber, also 
born in Lehigh county, Pa., July 5, 1831. Mr. Shuler died May 12, 
1895, and was followed to the grave by his widow December 15, 
1898. They were the parents of seven children : Angeline, born 
February 10, 1854, who married Harry Lashhorn, of Hamilton ; 
James Buchanan, born August 2, 1856, who died September 18, 1857; 
Charles Adam, born June 23, 1858; William Baron, born February 
15, 1860, who died January 1, 1884; Albert, born August 7, 1862, who 
died February 5, 1870; Ellen Susan, born November 2, 1866; and 
May, born September 9, 1873, who is the wife of Dr. James A. Dale, 
a practising physician of Nashville, Tenn. After his marriage, Mr. 
Doron gave up the road and settled down to the real estate business, 
in which he has been engaged with great success ever since. He 
deals extensively in property at Hamilton as a builder and developer, 
and was the builder of the Dorona flats, in 1907, one of the large and 
important apartment buildings of Hamilton. Also, he is heavily 
interested in real estate at Topeka, Kans., where he has closed some 
heavy transactions, and where he laid out and sold J. W. Doron's 
Walnut Park addition. He is widely and favorably known in busi- 
ness circles and occupies an excellent position in the confidence of 



176 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

his associates. In political affairs he supports the Republican party, 
and his connections aside from his business interests include mem- 
bership in the Hamilton club and the Butler County Country club. 
Three sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Doron : Shuler W., 
Joseph W. and John Lawrence. Shuler W. Doron was born March 
7, 1890, and was graduated from Purdue university with the class of 
1916. In 1915, with his brother, Joseph W., he started the electrical 
business of Doron Brothers, with a plant at Wayne and B streets, 
where six men are now given employment. In 1917 he enlisted in 
the United States Army, joining, November 17, the A. C. Radio 
service. From March 30, 1918, to June of that year he was at Col- 
lege Park, Md., and subsequently was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., 
from where he was transferred to Camp Alfred Vail, N. J., until 
receiving his honorable discharge, December 10, 1918. His com- 
mission was as second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps, and during 
his service he acted as Senior Instructor of Air Service in radio 
work. Joseph W. Doron was born August 10, 1895, and was edu- 
cated at Hamilton and Andover, Mass. He enlisted in the Radio 
Division, Company A, 308th Field Signal Battalion, 83d Division, 
as a private and was stationed at Camp Sherman. Later he went to 
the Officers' Training Camp, at Leon Springs, Texas, where he re- 
ceived his commission as second lieutenant and was sent to Little 
Silver, N. J. Next, he was transferred to Camp Hancock, Augusta, 
Ga., where he was made Camp Signal Supply Officer ; and finally 
received his honorable discharge from service; he was promoted to 
first lieutenant on the 19th of June, 1919, U. S. R. John L. 
Doron was born November 13, 1900, and is now attending the 
Hamilton High school. Mrs. Doron, a woman of many graces and 
attainments, has been prominent in social life and civic activities. 
She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and 
the Washington Memorial and was one of the organizers of the local 
Red Cross Chapter, and was chairman of the woman's committee 
of the Council of National Defense and of the National League of 
Woman's Service, both for Butler county. 

James J. Dorsey, one of the best known farmers of Liberty 
township is of good Irish stock, being the son of James and Ellen 
(Kelly) Dorsey, both of whom were born in the Emerald Isle. James 
Dorsey, sr., the father of the subject of this sketch, became discon- 
tented with conditions in his own country and came to America, the 
land of commerce. Realizing that his province lay in the realm of 
agriculture, he immediately entered upon the career of a farmer, hir- 
ing out by the month. He applied himself so conscientiously to the 
tasks set him that his services soon came into great demand in his 
community, and by the exercise of unusual thrift he was enabled to 
procure a farm as a renter before he had reached the prime of life. 
He was successful in amassing sufficient capital to retire some years 
before his death. He met and married his wife in this country and 
to them were born seven children: Mary, Kate, Thomas, Sarah, 
Ella, Elizabeth and James J., with whom we are now concerned. 
Young James followed the regular curriculum in the public schools 
of Butler county ; this finished, he went into farming with his father : 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 177 

continuing with him until about 1892, when he and his brother, 
Thomas, rented the Rentschler farm in Fairfield township. The 
two brothers met with instant success, so much so in fact that in 
1898 James was enabled to purchase a farm of his own in the same 
township. Later he removed to Liberty township, occupying the 
Clawson farm for seven years, when he took over his present farm 
of 160 acres, known as the Paul Scudder farm. He does a general 
farming business but specializes in stock raising, feeding on an 
average about 150 head of high-grade hogs annually and a consid- 
erable number of excellent cattle. He has always taken a keen in- 
terest in the welfare of his township and county. His breadth of 
view and his clear insight into public conditions, affecting his fellow 
citizens, has singled him out for public office which took the form 
of his being selected as Democratic Central Committeeman of Lib- 
erty township, an office he still holds. Fraternally he is a member c> 
the Knights of Pythias. In 1900, Mr. Dorsey was married to Louit».-. 
Daugherty and they have three children : James, who graduateo 
from Hamilton High school in 1918; Carrie; and Blanche. 

Charles Wesley Pitman Doty. In the death of Charles Wesit- 
Pitman Doty, in September, 1907, Middletown lost a citizen who had 
contributed largely to its wealth of character and purpose, and who, 
because of his absolute integrity, a trained mind and pronounced 
business tendencies, had been a valuable factor in the formation of 
various of its enterprises. He was one of the forecasters of the 
present prosperity of the thriving community, and as far as lay in 
his power lent his hands and brain in aid of a realization of his faith. 
Mr. Doty was born at Rock Island, 111., February 7, 1841, a son of 
Daniel C. and Catherine (Crane) Doty, natives of New Jersey. 
Daniel C. Doty's first marriage was with a Miss Mary Burgess, also 
of New Jersey, and three children were born to that union : Randall, 
Marcus and John. By his second wife he had five children : Aretus, 
George, deceased, who was a brick mason and contractor of Middle- 
town ; Charles W. P. ; Joseph C, deceased, a sketch of whose career 
appears elsewhere in this work ; and Daniel, a resident of Dayton. 
Daniel C. Doty, who was familiarly known as "Uncle Daniel," came 
to Middletown at an early day in its history and immediately in- 
terested himself in a large number of enterprises. He was the owner 
of a large tract of land, on which he carried on farming operations, 
also boated down the Mississippi in the early days, conducted a 
large brick yard, and followed other lines of business, his varied 
abilities and intense energy carrying him into various enterprises, 
all of which profited by his co-operation. He was a kind and gener- 
ous man, not alone in his family, but in his general dealings with his 
fellow-men, and many a poor man was given an opportunity to make 
a start by his benefactions. He was a Democrat, although not a 
political aspirant for position. Mrs. Doty was a member of the 
Methodist church, and her husband, while not affiliated with any 
denomination, was a generous donator to all churches and to all 
worthy enterprises, civic, religious, educational or moral. He died 
in 1873, greatly respected and esteemed, while his widow sur\nved 
him until 1901. Charles W. P. Doty Was educated in the home 

12 



178 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

schools and was brought up under influences which made for in- 
dustry and honesty, and under his father's guidance learned the 
rudiments of business. He was married October 6, 1864, to Miss 
Jane Kyle, a daughter of John and Ursula Kyle, the former born at 
Kinsman, Trumbull county, and the latter in Butler county, where 
they were married. Mr. Kyle located at Amanda, O., where he es- 
tablished himself as proprietor of a grocery. For some years prior 
to his death, Mr. Kyle was in ill health, and his demise occurred in 
1881, when he was seventy-four, Mrs. Kyle surviving him until 
1896 when she passed away at the age of seventy-seven. They were 
faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Their two 
daughters were : Emily, the widow of William Story, of Dayton ; 
and Mrs. Doty. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Doty : 
Emma, who married George A. Shepard, a millwright of Dayton 
and has two children, Mark W., who was connected with the Amer- 
ican Expeditionary Force, in France ; and Ruth Marie, a teacher in 
the public schools ; and Dr. Edgar Evans Doty, who was educated at 
Middletown and the Ohio Medical college, was an interne at the 
Jewish hospital one year, and in 1897 went to Red Lodge, Mont., 
where he engaged in practice until his death in October, 1910. Mrs. 
Doty is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church at 
Middletown. After his marriage, Charles W. P. Doty continued in 
business with his father for many years, and after the elder man's 
death continued in the business of manufacturing brick. Also he 
was engaged in selling wagons and buggies at different points in 
Ohio for eighteen years, but his health finally failed, and about 1897 
he retired from active pursuits. From that time forward he lived 
quietly at his comfortable home at Middletown, where death over- 
took him, in September, 1907, when he was sixty-six years of age. 
Mr. Doty was a Democrat in politics and served as a member of the 
board of equalization for some years in addition to holding other 
positions of trust. As a fair-minded man and honorable, gentle in 
his judgment of others, he was the recipient of long and lasting 
friendships. Mrs. Doty, who survives him, and resides at her pleas- 
ant home at No. 607 Yankee road, Middletown, is one who has the 
esteem and friendship of a wide circle of acquaintances, and is high- 
ly regarded in the community in which she has made her home for 
so many years. 

Joseph C. Doty. A promoter of industry, for many years iden- 
tified with business ventures at Middletown, a public-spirited citi- 
zen and one of the most efficient officials his community has known, 
the late Joseph C. Doty was one of the interesting and attractive 
personalities who in the past lent worth and distinction to his com- 
munity and who drew from its opportunities and environment the 
essentials of a broad and public-spirited life. Mr. Doty was born at 
Middletown, November 3, 1847, a son of Daniel C. and Catherine 
(Crane) Doty, the latter of New Jersey. His father was one of the 
early settlers of the Middletown community, where he owned a 
large tract of land, and in the early days, in addition to farrning, 
boated on the Mississippi river and also carried on a large business 
in the manufacture of brick. He was twice married, and his children 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 179 

by his second wife, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Crane, 
were : Aritas, of Hamilton, O. ; George L., deceased ; Chas. W. P., 
deceased ; Daniel, of Dayton ; and Joseph C. Joseph C. Doty re- 
ceived his education in the public schools of Middletown, and as a 
youth was initiated into the secrets of business life under the guid- 
ance of his father. He proved an apt pupil and readily assimilated 
the elder man's teachings, so that when he was ready to seek the 
experiences and rewards of an independent life was well prepared 
for such action. He was married December 31, 1872, to Miss Mary 
E. Smith, who was born at St. Marys, O., a daughter of Aaron A. 
and Rachael Smith, natives of the same community, highly respected 
farming people and devout members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. It is a somewhat remarkable fact that both of Mrs. Doty's 
parents lived to the advanced age of ninety-two years. There were 
six children in the Smith family : Charles H., a gardener of St. 
Marys ; Matilda Jane, the wife of Charles McKee, of that place ; 
Eliza P., deceased, who was a farmer at St. Marys ; Mary E., now 
Mrs. Doty; Rettca, the wife of Byron Wolam, on the old Smith 
homestead; and Flora, the widow of William Chambers, of Illinois. 
Mr. and Mrs. Doty were the parents of four children : Arthur F., a 
confectioner of Middletown, who is single and resides with his 
mother ; Loretta Estella, who died in 1911 as the wife of Frank Diver, 
of Middletown, leaving four sons, Norval, Paul, Franklin and Don- 
ald; Daniel C, of the Big Four railroad, who married Eunice Shirer 
and has four children, Estom, Joseph, Aaron and Virginia May; and 
Fern Alma, who married William Lewis and has one son, Carroll 
Edwin. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Doty located at 1010 
Yankee road, Middletown, on the same site as the home occupied 
by Mr. Doty's father, and where Mrs. Doty still resides. Mr. Doty 
remodeled the house and made many improvements, adding much to 
the property both in value and attractiveness. The early promise 
which he had shown in a business way was fully realized, for he rose 
to be one of the substantial and well-to-do manufacturers of the city, 
being extensively engaged in the brick and ice business and develop- 
ing his enterprises to large proportions. The integrity which he 
displayed in business affairs and which was manifest in all his 
transactions with his fellow-men caused him to gain an established 
place in public confidence, with the result that he was frequently 
called upon to fill offices of civic and general trust. He was the in- 
cumbent of a number of positions, including that of trustee of the 
Middletown water works, and his entire record in office was one 
which reflected credit upon himself and his community. Mr. Doty 
was a Democratic voter, and his fraternal affiliation was with the 
Knights of Pythias, in which he had numerous friends, as he had. in 
fact, in all walks of life. 

J. L. Douglass, the secretary of the H. S. Coulter Transfer com- 
pany, of Oxford, was born in Oxford township, a son of Isaiah and 
Anna (Patterson) Douglass, on May 21, 1864. Isaiah Douglass, a 
farmer of Oxford township, was the father of five children : J. L., 
Elizabeth, deceased; Zada; S. L., and W. C. Douglass. Zada mar- 
ried Cliff Schultz, of College Corner. S. L. Douglass resides at 



180 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

home, and W. C. Douglass is living in California. J. L. Douglass 
attended the Miami university preparatory school, and later en- 
gaged in farming for himself in Oxford township, until 1909, when 
he moved to Oxford, where he conducted a meat business. In 1914 
he met with an accident that nearly cost him his life. While cross- 
mg a railroad track in a buggy, it was struck by a fast train, and Mr. 
Douglass received serious injuries which incapacitated him from 
business for two years. In 1916 he entered the business of H. S. 
Coulter, the transfer company owner, and became treasurer of the 
business. In 1885 he married Anna Styhr, daughter of Henry and 
Elizabeth Styhr, of Oxford. To this union were born the following 
children : Dwight, Elizabeth Lenore, Frieda, and Inez Marie. 
Dwight was a student of the McGuffey school of Oxford, and after 
finishing school, became identified with the Maxwell Motor com- 
pany of Dayton, Ohio. While engaged in work there, he entered 
the United States Army, joining the infantry, and received training 
at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, where he rose to the rank of 
sergeant and after the cessation of hostilities was honorably dis- 
charged with a splendid record. He re-entered the employ of the 
Maxwell Motor company, and is at the company's offices in Detroit. 
Elizabeth Lenore Douglass married LeRoy McCrary, and resides in 
Israel township, Preble county. To them have been born three chil- 
dren : Robert, Verna, and Ralph. Frieda Douglass was married to 
Otto Krauss, and lives at Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Douglass and family 
are members of the Presbyterian church. He is a member of the 
K. P. lodge. He was very liberal in his aid to local war relief organ- 
izations, and was active in many patriotic lines. 

Charles M. Downey. Prominent among the lives and energetic 
citizens of Middletown, Charles M. Downey is worth}^ of mention. 
Since coming to this city, in 1911, he has been identified with the 
American Rolling Mill plant, where he is now occupied as a roller, 
and is accounted one of the reliable and trustworthy employees of 
this great concern. He was born at Martins Ferry, Ohio, a son of 
Robert and Julia (Dunigan) Downey. His maternal grandparents 
were Bridget Lynch and Bryan Dunigan. His parents were natives 
of Ireland. The father came to the United States when twelve years 
of age and mother when a small child, and located in the vicinity of 
Wheeling, W. Va. Removing then to Martins Ferry, Ohio, Robert 
Downey established himself in the hardware and tinware business, 
with which he was connected until his death, September 12, 1906. 
He was a capable and highly respected business man, and a veteran 
of the Civil war, having been a sergeant in the 1st West Virginia 
Infantry. Following the death of her husband, Mrs. Robert Downey 
came to Middletown, where she now resides at the home of her 
daughter, Mrs. Alice Leasure. Charles M. Downey was educated 
in the public schools of Martins Ferry, was reared in that commun- 
ity, and there learned his trade. Likewise he took a prominent part 
in civic affairs, and became a leader of the Republican party, being 
elected a member of the city council in which he served for years. 
During the early days he was also a member of the Independent 
Hose company, of Martins Ferry. This famous organization, which 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 181 

was widely known to the fire laddies of several decades ago, won 
the championship belt, valued at $1,000, which was presented by 
Richard K. Fox, the well-known New York sportsman, in the meet 
of the various hose companies held at Atlanta, Ga., in 1895, the com- 
pany being also presented with $250 in gold. In 1911, Mr. Downey 
came to Middletown and entered the employ of the American Roll- 
ing mill, where he now discharges the duties of a roller. He is pop- 
ular with his fellow-employees, as he is also with his fellow-mem- 
bers in the Masons and Knights Templar. Politically he continues 
to adhere staunchly to the principles of the Republican party, and 
his religious connection is with the Presbyterian church. After re- 
siding at Middletown for three months, Mr. Downey returned to 
Martins Ferry, where he was married December 16, 1911, to Lillian 
M., daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Muldrew) Hammond, the 
former of whom, a Civil war veteran, died in 1882, and the latter in 
1881. Mrs. Downey also sustained another sad loss, in 1918, when, 
during the epidemic of influenza which swept the country, her 
favorite nephew, Earl, only near relative, son of William Hammond, 
was stricken with that disease. He had been a frequent visitor at 
the home of his aunt and uncle, to whom he was devotedly attached, 
and his death, which occurred at Martins Ferry, Va., was a great 
blow to them. Mrs. Downey is a woman of very attractive person- 
ality, as well as a charming hostess, and the pleasant modern home 
on Third street is frequently the scene of social gatherings at which 
are present the numerous friends of this popular couple. 

Samuel Dowrey, jr., an employee of the American Rolling Mill 
company, is a son of Samuel and Anna (Elevens) Dowrey, and was 
born in Hamilton, Ohio, March 3, 1890. His parents are still living, 
and he has two brothers, both in Ohio : Glenn, in Hamilton, and 
Donald, in Middletown. He was married October 1, 1908, to Emma 
Jane Cheadle, daughter of Daniel W., and Mayme (Nelson) Cheadle, 
who are still living and are parents of three other children : Mar- 
garet Louise, Andrew and Nellie, both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. 
Dowrey have no children. For the past fifteen years, Mr. Dowrey 
has been an open hearth charging machine operator for the Amer- 
ican Rolling Mill company. He is a man of much versatility and 
possesses in a marked degree both poetical ability and inventive 
genius. Many of his poems have appeared in the American Rolling 
Mill company bulletin, and among his inventions are a stopper rod 
and a hand soap called "Swat." Mr. Dowrey purchased a mag^nifi- 
cent stucco house on Queen street which is the family home, and in 
which he takes great delight. He is a member of the United Breth- 
ren church, and announces himself politically as a liberal. 

William C. Dowty. There has been no one man connected with 
the Hamilton Fire department to which the city is more indebted 
for practical and permanent improvements than to William C. Dow- 
ty, chief of the department from 1905 until his retirement in 1917, 
and a member of this body of fire-fighters for a period of thirty-eight 
years. He won promotion to the head of his department both be- 
cause of his fearlessness in the line of duty and his executive ability, 
and his earnestness, honesty and absolute fidelity retained him in 



182 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

office through several changes of administration and party manage- 
ments. The final result of his faithful and progressive service was 
not only to firmly establish him in the confidence of the local public, 
but to give him a widespread reputation on all matters connected 
with fire-fighting. William C. Dowty, whose death occurred May 7, 
1919, was born at Hamilton, November 14, 1855, a son of J. Wilson 
and Ann (Mathias) Dowty. ' His maternal grandfather was Isaac 
Mathias, who was born near Venice, Ohio, and was always a resi- 
dent of Butler county, where he followed the business of tinsmith. 
His daughter, Mrs. Dowty, died in February, 1895, at the age of 
sixty years, in the faith of the Universalist church. J. Wilson Dowty 
was born near Venice, Ohio, a member of a family that originated 
in Virginia. As a young man he moved to Hamilton, was the owner 
of farm lands on Mount Pleasant pike, and was prominent in Demo- 
cratic politics, serving at one time as clerk of Butler county, and 
for some years as constable at Hamilton. He died in 1862, at the 
age of thirty-two years. He and his wife were the parents of four 
children : one who died in infancy ; William C. ; Eliza F., who died 
in 1911, as the wife of Christian Eberling of Hamilton; and James 
Wilson, a tinner by trade, who served as constable and night watch- 
man, and died in 1914, leaving a widow to survive him, she having 
borne the maiden name of Sallie Sutter. William C. Dowty re- 
ceived his education in the public schools of Hamilton. Following 
his father's death, his grandmother Dowty reared the children, and 
lived with the mother, and William C. Dowty began to learn the 
tinner's trade, with I. & J. Mathias, by whom he was employed six 
years. For five years he worked for Colonel Elliott, proprietor of 
the Still House, as engineer, and then spent two years on Colonel 
Elliott's farm. In 1880 he was appointed a member of the Hamilton 
Fire department and assigned to the Number One's. He imme- 
diately proved his worth as a fire-fighter, especially in the days of 
the old fire engine, before Hamilton boasted of a city waterworks. 
He had started as a pipeman, but a few years later was promoted to 
the captaincy of the One's and continued to serve in that capacity 
until 1903, when he was made fire marshal of the department under 
its reorganization. In this capacity he served under Chief Adam 
Baker and upon the death of the latter two years later, Mr. Dowty 
was chosen as his successor. A better choice could not have been 
made, for under his leadership the fire department of Hamilton was 
well disciplined, made thoroughly competent and brought to the 
front as one of the best fire-fighting forces in the state. Chief 
Dowty remained at the head of the department until December 31, 
1917, when, because of failing health, he retired to enjoy a well- 
earned rest. From that time forward he devoted his time to his 
home, his family and his friends, and seemed greatly to enjoy the 
freedom which had become his. His death occurred May 7, 1919, at 
his home, after a brief illness following hemorrhages caused by ulcer 
of the stomach. In speaking editorially of his death, the Hamilton 
Evening Journal said in part, as follows : "In the death of William 
C. Dowty, Hamilton has lost a most worthy citizen. He proved his 
worth by his public service and for thirty-eight years he was a mem- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 183 

ber of the fire department. In whatsoever capacity he served in this 
important branch of the city service, Mr. Dowty met every duty and 
responsibility faithfully and without hesitation. Later when ad- 
vancement came to him, he studied the duties devolving- upon him ; 
made a study of what the people demanded of him and never faltered 
in the face of duty. He understood building construction, he under- 
stood the causes of fires, and knowing the causes he was able to 
fight a fire with marked generalship. As chief of the fire department 
Mr, Dowty led his men. He never ordered a man to go where he 
feared to go himself. His men trusted him, believed in him and 
they obeyed his commands. Some of Hamilton's most serious fires 
were fought under the direction of Mr. Dowty and in numerous in- 
stances his ability won the battle with the flames. And so in the 
death of William C. Dowty Hamilton has lost a citizen who gave 
the best years of his life to the public service and in those years won 
and held the confidence, the respect and good will of the people of 
the city generally." Fraternally Mr. Dowty was connected with 
Esther Court No. 4, Tribe of Ben Hur. His religious affiliation was 
with the Reformed church. January 7, 1876, Mr. Dowty married 
Helen Cecelia, daughter of William and Isabella (Coleman) Rutter, 
of Princeton, Ohio. Mrs. Rutter, who was the second wife of her 
husband, was born at Germantown, Ohio, her parents being natives 
of Pennsylvania. William Rutter was a native of Venice, Ohio, and 
a shoemaker by trade. During the Civil war he enlisted from Ken- 
tucky was wounded in battle, and died and was buried at Chat- 
tanooga, Tenn. Later his widow moved to Hamilton, where she 
died in 1889, in the faith of the Lutheran church. Of the seven chil- 
dren in the Rutter family, two died in infancy, the others being: 
Catherine, who died January 13, 1918, as the wife of the late Jacob 
Sebastian, who resided at Logansport and Terre Haute, Ind. ; John 
Q., who married Laura Bryan, was a painter and decorator of Ada, 
Ohio, and died in 1917, leaving his widow to survive him ; William, 
a shoemaker of Cincinnati, who married Josephine Starks ; Mrs. 
Dowty; and Anna L., the wife of William Spivey. Five children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dowty, of whom four survive : Bessie, a 
graduate of the Hamilton High school, who also attended school at 
Wooster, Ohio, and now a teacher in the public schools of Hamil- 
ton ; Pearl, also a teacher here, educated in the home schools and 
one term at Heidelberg college ; Nina, a teacher of domestic science 
at Newport, Ky., educated at Hamilton, Newport, Lexington, Ky., 
and Oxford, Ohio ; and Josephine, who is a graduate of the local 
schools and now at Toledo, where she is studying to be a trained 
nurse. Mrs. Dowty, who survives her husband and has numerous 
friends at Hamilton, resides at the pleasant family home, No. 318 
N. D street, Hamilton. 

Martin Druck, a leading citizen of Hanover township and one 
of the representative and honored residents of the Hamilton com- 
munity, has been identified with the agricultural and business in- 
terests of this section for a number of years. He was born at Mill- 
ville, Butler county, Ohio, September 27, 1872, a son of John and 
Mary (Denzler) Druck. His paternal grandfather, Charles Druck, 



184 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

brought his family to the United States when his son, John, was a 
lad of eight years, the family first locating at Hamilton and then 
settling on a farm near the present property of Martin Druck. The 
Denzler family also came from Germany and first settled at Coving- 
ton, Ky., where Mary Denzler was born, but subsequently moved 
to a farm near Hamilton, where she met and married Mr. Druck. 
After their marriage they spent a short time at Millville and then 
settled down to farming on the present property of Martin Druck, 
but are now retired from active pursuits and make their comfortable 
home on Central avenue, Hamilton. They became the parents of 
six children : Charles, of Hamilton ; Mrs. Elizabeth Baker, of that 
city; Martin; Mrs. Charles Protzman, of Hamilton; Susan, who is 
single and resides with her parents ; and Mrs. Addie Coflfer, of St. 
Clair township. Martin Druck obtained his education in the Blue 
Grass school and was reared on the home farm, which has always 
been his home. He has developed the property systematically and 
practically and has made numerous improvements, thereby making 
the property a valuable one. He carries on general farming and 
has met with success in stock raising, being at this time the owner 
of seventeen fine Holsteins. Everything pertaining to the public 
good receives his hearty endorsement and he is justly considered a 
public-spirited citizen and one who did his full share in supporting 
war activities during the time when this country was engaged in 
the great struggle overseas. Mr. Druck was married in March, 1904, 
to Bertha, daughter of C. and Lucy Moyer, of Troy, Ohio, who were 
formerly prominent farming people of Butler county. Mr. and Mrs. 
Druck are the parents of three children : Edgar, born in 1905 ; Al- 
thea, born in 1907 ; and Lucille, born in 1908. 

William Pierre DuChemin, who is foreman of the culvert de- 
partment of the American Rolling mill at Middletown, was born at 
Cincinnati, Ohio, a son of John William and Margaret (Rowland) 
DuChemin, and a descendant of an old and honorable French family. 
His father, who was born in France, emigrated to the United States 
in young manhood, prior to the Civil war, in which struggle he 
fought three years and nine months as a soldier of the Union and 
advanced to the rank of captain. Following the close of the war he 
located at Cincinnati, where he married Margaret Rowland, who 
died in 1883, Mr. DuChemin surviving her until 1901. There were 
two children in the family : William Pierre, of this notice ; and Eliza- 
beth, the widow of the late Dr. Glenn Miller, a practising physician 
of Oklahoma until his recent death. William P. DuChemin received 
his education in the public schools of Cincinnati, where he also 
learned his trade, and about 1900 came to Middletown, at the open- 
ing of the American Rolling mill. He was skilled at his vocation, 
steady in his work, reliable and trustworthy in the performance of 
his duties and always industrious, and gradually earned promotion 
to the position of foreman of the culvert department, a position 
which he has held for the past ten years. As a voter he supports 
Republican candidates and principles, and his religious faith is that 
of the Presbyterian church. Mr. DuChemin married Carrie, daugh- 
ter of Ezra Clark and Kate (Hirsch) Hinkle, and to this union there 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 185 

have been born three children : Ruth Dell, William Glenn and Eloise 
May. The last-named, who is a student at the Middletown High 
school, possesses a beautiful voice, and is also a gifted performer on 
the piano. The comfortable and tastefully furnished home of the 
DuChemin's is located at 710 Baltimore street. In Mrs. Du- 
Chemin's family there were five children : Delia May, the wife of 
E. Huntsbarger ; Edith, the wife of Jacob Miller ; Joe Alvin ; Charles 
Edward ; and Jim, who was in the United States Army and since his 
return has been engaged in the grocery business at Lakeside. 

Louis Duemer. Of the men who now occupy positions of im- 
portance in the manufacturing world of Hamilton, few have better 
claims to the title of self-made man than has Louis Duemer, pres- 
ident of Louis Duemer & Sons. When he arrived in this country as 
a young man, he was possessed of little capital save that represented 
by his earnest determination and boundless ambition, and his will- 
ingness to work at whatever honorable occupation presented itself. 
From this modest beginning he has worked his way to the head of 
an important industry which is recognized as a leading factor in the 
field of pattern making and furnace manufacturing. Mr. Duemer 
was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1856, a son of J. and Sophia Due- 
mer. His education was of the public school variety and three years 
spent in the Free Trades school at the City of Hamburg, and until 
he was twenty-five years of age he lived in his native place, being 
variously employed. Being of an ambitious nature, and not seeing 
any great future ahead of him, he came to the United States in 1881. 
and at once choosing Hamilton as the field for his success, secured 
employment at the Shortman & Blum Furniture factory. There he 
worked at his trade of cabinet maker for one year and subsequently 
was employed as a pattern maker by the Long & Allstatter com- 
pany, and later by the Niles Tool works, the Gordon Maxwell Pump 
company and the Estate Stove works. While employed at the 
latter plant he made patterns for one of the first gas stoves in the 
United States. Mr. Duemer embarked in business on his own ac- 
count in 1890, and by 1900 found it necessary to build the present 
modern plant on Central avenue, where a force of men of the highest 
skill are given employment in making patterns and manufacturing 
furnaces. In the latter connection Mr. Duemer has made patterns 
for some of the largest stove and furnace manufacturers in this 
country, and many of the best stoves and ranges used in a large part 
of this country were designed by him. A specialty of the company 
is the Hamilton All-Cast Double Radiator Furnace, for pipe or 
pipeless systems. For nearly thirty years the firm of Louis Duemer 
& Sons has successfully designed and built patterns for furnaces, 
heaters, coal, gas and wood stoves and ranges, and the specialty 
referred to is the result of long years of experience and specialized 
study. The furnaces of this company are built on scientific and 
practical principles, and careful attention has been given to the 
different parts, so as to make them of such shape and form as is 
adapted to get the greatest possible efficiency and durability. Mr. 
Duemer is widely known in business circles as a man of the highest 
principles and strictest integrity, and in his long career has never 



186 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

committed an act which would betray the confidence of his asso- 
ciates or the pubHc. He has a number of important business, social 
and civic connections, and in his wide acquaintance numbers many 
sincere friends. In 1882 he was united in marriage with Marie 
Shafer, and they are the parents of four sons and one daughter, 
three sons, Carl, Louis and Walter being associated in the business 
with their father. 

Charles J. Duersch, who, with his brother, William, manages 
the large coal concern established by their father, at 448 Main 
street, Hamilton, is one of the alert business men of this city. The 
father, Adolph Duersch, was born in Germany, where he was 
married to Friedricka Brooks, also a native of Germany. Leaving 
Germany, they came to the United States, and arrived here before 
the close of the Civil war. Like so many of his countrymen during 
that trying period in America's history, Adolph Duersch became a 
soldier in the Union army, and served his adopted country faithfully 
until peace was declared. A tanner by trade, Adolph Duersch 
found remunerative employment at it until 1885, when he founded 
the coal business at Hamilton, now carried on by his sons, Charles 
J. and William, having himself passed away some years ago. At 
one time Adolph Duersch served as a member of the board of 
equalization of Hamilton, and was valued by his associates on it 
because of his sound judgment and sincere honesty. He and his 
wife had seven children, of whom six survive, namely : Mary, Minnie 
and Katie, all of whom reside with their widowed mother at Hamil- 
ton ; William, who married and has three children, and is now 
living at Hamilton ; George J., who married Ida Pierson, has one 
child, and also lives at Hamilton ; and Charles J., whose name heads 
this review. Charles J. Duersch was reared at Hamilton and at- 
tended its schools, as did his brothers and sisters. June 28, 1916, 
he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Clements, a daughter 
of J. W. Clements, who lives on Ross avenue, Hamilton. Mr. and 
Mrs. Duersch attend the Methodist Episcopal church. He votes the 
Democratic ticket. The fraternal affiliations of Mr. Duersch are 
with the Elks and Eagles. It has been the policy of the two brothers 
to carry out their father's plans for the management of the business 
into which he put so much of his own individuality, and their cus- 
tomers have continued with them as they have realized that the 
sons intend to live up to the standards established by the elder man. 
The younger men are dependable citizens, who are held in high 
esteem at Hamilton and in the county, and they deserve their pros- 
perity for it is founded upon honest dealing, prompt service and 
fair methods, and having won the confidence of their community, 
they ar<^ retaining it in a marked degree. 

George J. Duersch. Since 1897 George J. Duersch has con- 
tributed to the commercial equipment of Hamilton a sound and 
substantial bicycle and electrical business, which was founded by 
him and which has developed consistently under his able direction. 
Mr. Duersch has won his success in his native city, for he was born 
at Hamilton, October 23, 1878, a son of Adolph and Friedricka 
(Brooks) Duersch. His father, born in Germany and there educat- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 187 

ed, was a young man when he emigrated to the United States during 
the period of the Civil war, and enlisted in the ranks of the Union 
army, with which he fought gallantly until the close of the struggle. 
At the finish of his military service, he took up the trade of tanner, 
which he had learned in his youth, and followed it until 1885, in 
which year he established himself in a coal business at No. 448 
Main street, Hamilton, which, since his death has been under the 
management of his sons, William and Charles J. Mr. Duersch was 
a capable man of business, whose integrity was never questioned, 
and bore an equally good reputation as a citizen, his public activities 
having included service as a member of the board of equalization 
for several years. He and Mrs. Duersch, who survives him at 
Hamilton, had seven children, of whom six survive : Mary, Minnie 
and Katie, with whom their mother makes her home; William, 
who married, has three children, and lives at Hamilton ; Charles J. ; 
who married Emma Clements ; and George J. George J. Duersch 
was educated in the graded schools, and, having shown a mechanical 
turn, started to work for hardware concerns where he thoroughly 
mastered all the details pertaining to the bicycle and electrical 
business. He was but twenty-one years of age when he 
purchased property at No. 22 North Third street, and established 
himself in business as the proprietor of an enterprise of his own. 
His start was modest and unassuming, but his good workmanship, 
fidelity to engagements and unfailing courtesy soon won him added 
and constantly increasing patronage, and today his establishment 
is considered in the light of a necessary commercial adjunct to 
the tov/n's business houses. He has a complete and well selected 
stock of goods, tastefully arranged and properly priced, and is in a 
position to do all manner of work pertaining to the cycle and 
electrical business. Mr. Duersch's success has been self-attained 
and he is eminently worthy of the respect and confidence in which 
he is held. Mr. Duersch married Miss Ida Pierson, daughter of 
Enoch Pierson, an early settler of Hamilton, and to this union 
there has been born one son, aged three years. Mr. Duersch is 
the owner of his own comfortable home at No. 539 Park avenue. 
He and his wife are consistent members of the Presbyterian church 
and have numerous friends therein, as they have throughout the 
city, where the family is well known. 

John F. Duflfield is one of the large landholders of Butler county 
and a dealer in real estate and his status as a business man and a 
citizen is typical of the material upon which his business rests 
and which has contributed materially to his success as a realty 
operator at Somerville. Mr. Duffield was born on a farm in Somers 
township, Preble county, Ohio, September 9, 1848, a son of Tames 
and Jane (McClung) Duffield. His father was a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, who was educated in the public schools and came to Ohio as 
a young man, settling at a location northeast of Collinsville after 
his marriage, his wife being a native of near Millville, this state. 
When he made his start in life his cash capital consisted of but 
fifty cents, to which was added his great ambition and determina- 
tion. After renting land for several years, he went to Preble county. 



188 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

where he purchased land in Somers township, one and one-fourth 
miles north of Somerville. There he cultivated his land and added 
thereto, became one of the substantial agriculturists of his com- 
munity, and in the evening of life moved to a comfortable home at 
Somerville, where his death occurred in 1903, when he was eighty- 
six years of age. Mrs. Duffield, who died in 1900, had reached the 
advanced age of ninety-one years. In addition to being a skilled and 
scientific farmer, Mr. Duffield was a progressive and practical stock- 
man, and in 1850 brought the first Poland China hogs into Preble 
county. He was originally a Republican, but later transferred his 
allegiance to the Democratic party. He and Mrs. Duffield were con- 
sistent members of the Presbyterian church, and the parents of five 
children : Mary Elizabeth, who is deceased ; Eliza Jane, the wife of 
Samuel Shellenberger ; John F. ; George, a farmer near Eaton, Ohio ; 
and Sallie, who died April 24, 1905. George F. Duffield was educated 
in the public schools of Preble county and reared on his father's 
farm, but as a young man, like many other farmer's sons, was at- 
tracted by railroading, and went to Kansas City, Mo., where he se- 
cured employment with the Missouri Pacific railroad. Later he was 
with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad, the Missouri, Kan- 
sas & Texas (Katy) railroad and the Union Pacific railroad, his 
railroad experience covering the period from 1867 to 1879, during 
which time for five years he was a conductor on a passenger train 
running out of Kansas City. Returning home in the latter year, 
he became associated in business with his father, of whose interests 
he took charge, and at once commenced the breeding of Poland 
China hogs on an extensive scale, developing steadily into one of the 
foremost men in his line in the country. His stock was exhibited 
at county fairs, state fairs and live stock expositions at Detroit, 
Mich. ; St. Louis, Mo., throughout Indiana and Ohio, and at Carth- 
age, Mo., and won numerous prizes and ribbons. In 1905, he re- 
moved his home to Somerville and began dealing in realty, a field in 
which he has also won great and well-merited success. Ready adapta- 
tion to opportunity, a capacity for gauging the possibility of increase 
in values and the well developed speculative instinct which places 
the natural broker in a class by himself, have been factors in Mr. 
Duffield's success. Since taking up his home at Somerville, Mr. 
Duffield has spent his winters in Florida. May 15, 1875, Mr. Duf- 
field married Alice Stawpert, of Atchison, Kans., who died in Octo- 
ber, 1882, leaving one son, Henry Frank, born April 19, 1880, in 
Preble county, educated in the home schools at Seven Mile, Ohio, 
and in 1903 married Edith Reed of West Elkton. Mr. Duffield's 
(the elder) present wife was formerly Eva I., daughter of James 
Young of Somerville. Mr. and Mrs. Duffield are consistent mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is active in local Re- 
publican political affairs, but not an office seeker, and his fraternal 
connection is with the Knights of Pythias. In various movements 
Mr. Duffield has evidenced commendable public spirit and zeal, and 
all his commercial transactions have been guided by probity, sagac- 
ity and good judgment. 

Charles Duncan was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Feb- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 189 

ruary 16, 1846, son of James and Isabelle (Stuart) Duncan. James 
Duncan and Isabelle Stuart were married in Scotland, and to them 
were born six children : Janet, Charles, James, John, Alexandriana, 
and Alexander, all of whom were born in Scotland. After coming 
to the United States three other children were born to them : Mar- 
garet, Isabelle, and David. James Duncan emigrated with his fam- 
ily to this country, settled in Champaign county, Ohio, lived there 
the remainder of his life, and was buried in that county. Charles 
Duncan was the only member of the family who ever lived in Butler 
county. After leaving the district schools, in which he received his 
education, he engaged in farm work, but later became a teacher, for 
twelve years taught school in Champaign county, and then returned 
to the farm. In December, 1879, he was married to Emma R. Cham- 
bers, daughter of Enoch and Mary Ann (Moore) Chambers, of Fair- 
field township. These children were born in the family of Enoch 
Chambers: Harriet, Mrs. Ames; Orpha, Mrs. Treudley; Emma, 
wife of the subject of this sketch ; Lydia, Mrs. Mills ; whose hus- 
band, Stephen A. Mills, served four years in the Civil war; Sallie, 
Mrs. Miller; Cora, Mrs. Sweet, whose son, Howard, was in the U. S. 
Army during the World war. Enoch Chambers and his wife Mary 
Ann are deceased, the former dying in 1886 and the latter in 1886, 
and are buried in Greenwood cemetery. After their marriage, 
Charles Duncan and his wife lived in Champaign county, and in 
1886 moved to a farm of eighty-three acres in Fairfield township, 
Butler county. They continue to live on the same farm, but through 
well-sustained efforts, good management and thrifty methods, that 
acreage has been increased to an even two hundred. Mr. and Mrs. 
Duncan are the parents of three daughters : Edith, Mrs. Burer, has 
a daughter, Janet, living in Fairfield township ; Nellie, who attended 
Glendale college; and Mary, Mrs. Moran, a graduate of the Cincin- 
nati Conservatory of Music and Glendale college, and now lives in 
New Hampshire. Mr. Duncan is a Republican, a member of the 
Presbyterian church, and has done much war work, having been 
captain of his precinct team in every drive that was made. 

John W. Durrough, prominent in Hamilton, Butler county, 
Ohio, as brick manufacturer, real estate and one time police magis- 
trate, who died at that place March 4, 1911, was sincerely mourned. 
The remains were laid to rest in Greenwood cemetery, Hamilton, 
the Rev. A. B. Austin officiating. He was born June 27, 1850, a son 
of Stephen and Abagialt Durrough, who were old and respected 
residents of Ohio and Butler county. The father was one of the 
old-time well-builders of Hamilton and a man who understood thor- 
oughly every phase of his business. His first venture in the business 
world, and one which proved his determined nature, was that of a 
brick manufacturer in Hamilton, and from the outset he met with 
success. Previous to starting in business for himself he had learned 
the brick making trade at the Leffier brick yard. His brick yard 
covered four acres of land on West Second street, Hamilton. Later 
he purchased the brick business of his brother and conducted this 
for about ten years. He became impressed with the possibilities of 
contracting and engaged in this line, also giving attention to real 



190 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

estate. He continued in these activities until his death. Among his 
best known jobs was the laying out of the Durrough-Campbell aa- 
dition in East Hamilton. During the period that he served as justice 
of the peace in Hamilton, he made a most enviable record and won 
the admiration of all for the fairness with which he dispensed jus- 
tice. When he left this office the opinion was expressed generally 
among the legal fraternity that he had been one of the most efficient 
justice's of the peace that had ever held that office in Hamilton. 
July 25, 1885, he married Miss Margaret Gilmore, who was a daugh- 
ter of W. S. Gilmore, one of the highly respected citizens of Hamil- 
ton. The latter's wife's name was Braden. The uniting of John W. 
Durrough and wife in matrimony linked two of the representative 
families of Hamilton. To Mr. and Mrs. Durrough, were born Miss 
A., who became the wife of Louis J. Campbell of Cincinnati, and who 
is the mother of two children. Miss Cora and Magdaline Durrough ; 
and James Wilson. Mr. Durrough had always been a Democrat in 
politics and it was said that throughout his life he was always known 
for his loyalty to his party. He was considered a good campaigner 
and his services in this regard were eagerly sought. He was also a 
consistent churchgoer and had membership in the United Brethren. 
Henry S. Earhart. Among the best known, most enterprising 
and highly regarded agriculturists of Oxford township, Butler coun- 
ty, Ohio, is Mr. H. S. Earhart, who owns sixty-seven and one-half 
acres of the most productive farming land in that section of the state. 
He is typical of the Ohio farmer, being energetic and keeping pace 
with the times and the success that he has had with his land has 
been well merited. Mr. Earhart was born in Preble county, Ohio, 
the eldest son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Search) Earhart. There 
were thirteen children. He attended school at Jericho and later 
went to Kansas with his brother-in-law. In 1870 he returned to 
Ohio and after a short period departed for Casey, 111., where he en- 
gaged in the hardware business for three years with Richard Young 
as partner. He realized that new and profitable opportunities 
awaited him in the farming industry and accordingly returned to 
Butler county to occupy the large and promising tract of land which 
has since proved so productive. Benjamin Earhart was born in 
Pennsylvania and came to Ohio in 1821. He witnessed the trans- 
formation of thousands of acres of prairie land into fertile farms and 
took an active interest in furthering the agricultural prestige of this 
great state and accordingly during his time was known as one of 
the most enterprising farmers of his section. Mrs. Earhart was born 
in Casey, Clark county, 111. His parents were early settlers, of 
Scotch-Irish descent and were of Revolutionary and 1812 War stock. 
Henry Earhart married Maggie Strong of Clark county. 111., in 1876, 
and to them were born six children : James, Daisy, Sina, Maud, 
Jeannette and Eunice. In addition to farming Mr. Earhart has 
found time to engage in other activities which have proved de- 
cidedly profitable. In politics Mr. Earhart is a Democrat and in 
religion a Methodist. During the World war he exerted himself to 
the utmost in the various activities of his community which would 
aid Uncle Sam and the allies in making the world safe for democ- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 191 

racy and the results of his work are best exemplified in the achieve- 
ments of Butler county in the various Liberty Loan campaigns and 
other important work. 

Charles F. Early. Located on the West Middletown and Poast 
Town road in Butler county is found the highly improved and fer- 
tile farm belonging to Charles F. Early, one of the progressive and 
practical agriculturists of the Miami valley. This worthy and en- 
terprising citizen has passed his entire life in this region, having 
been born at Springboro, Warren county, Ohio, a son of Isaac and 
Elizabeth (Pence) Early. The Early family is well known in the 
Miami valley, having come during pioneer days from Virginia to 
this part of Ohio, where its members have been helpful factors in 
the development of what has become a prosperous and highly cul- 
tured region, and have controlled large tracts of land. Therewerefour 
children in the family of Isaac and Elizabeth Early : Howard ; Will ; 
Charles F. ; and Cora, who married E. A. Wellbaum, of Miam- 
isburg. Charles F. Early attended the public schools of Warren coun- 
ty and was later sent to the celebrated Miami Valley college, where 
he was a student two terms, at Springboro. He began his independent 
career as a farmer, and has worked his way to the management of 
150 acres of land, which formerly comprised the Temple Barklow 
farm. This he conducts for general farming purposes, operating a 
dairy business in connection with a herd of splendid Holstein cattle. 
He has a splendid set of buildings, including a handsome home, 
which has been completely remodeled since Mr. Early took over the 
management, and which is furnished in a manner appropriate to the 
tastes of a cultured and well-educated family. Mr. Early is a Demo- 
crat, but has been only a voter and not a politician or office seeker. 
With his family, he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. He 
has succeeded in his career, not only as a farmer who has made his 
labors return him a splendid profit for his investment, but as a man 
who has established an excellent reputation in business circles and 
as a citizen who has won and held public esteem because of the stand 
he has taken on questions of public and community importance. 
January 6, 1885, Mr. Early was united in marriage with Margaret 
Catherine, daughter of Ambrose and Margaret (Bean) Dearth, and 
to this union there have been born two sons : Ernest R., who mar- 
ried Marie Temple, daughter of Albert, and Louise Speidel Temple ; 
and Warren, who resides with his parents. Mrs. Early had seven 
brothers and sisters : Louella ; Newton ; Mary E., who married L. E. 
Somers, of Greenville, Ohio ; Henry S., of Springboro, Ohio ; Anna, 
deceased ; Clement, of Centerville, Ohio ; Keturah, who married 
William Rickard and now lives in California. Mrs. Early's great- 
grandfather, Edward Deiarth, married Elizabeth Roberts, the former 
a native of Fayette county. Pa., and the latter of Virginia. Edward 
Dearth was a minister of the Christian faith who did not believe in 
ministers receiving remuneration for their services, and whose la- 
bors therefore were always without pay. The grandparents of Mrs. 
Early were Samuel and Keturah (Townsend) Dearth, natives of 
Pennsylvania, who migrated to Ohio and located in Warren county 
in 1798. They were among the true pioneers of the Miami valley, 



192 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

and during the early days endured all the hardships and privations 
incidental to the log cabin days. Mr. Dearth, from small beginnings, 
made subsequent purchases of land until he had 1150 acres in one 
body, as well as 1100 acres in other parcels, and was accounted a 
prosperous man for his day and locality. 

James Eberhart. The late James Eberhart, who, if anyone ever 
deserved the appellation of self-made man, was fully entitled to that 
characterization, and who was long a conspicuous figure in the ag- 
ricultural annals of Butler county, was a native of Pennsylvania, 
born in 1828. He was a son of Frederick Eberhart, also a native of 
the Keystone state, who came to Ohio as an early settler, and after 
a short stay at Miltonville located at Blue Ball, where he continued 
to be engaged in farming during the rest of his life. He and his wife 
were the parents of thirteen children, of whom but two survive : 
Sophia, the widow of B. Carr, of Middletown ; and Mrs. Mary Van 
Rutan, of Chicago, 111. James Eberhart attended the public schools 
of Trenton, but his opportunities for obtaining an education were 
limited, as on account of the expense incident to the maintenance of 
so large a family, he found it necessary to assist his parents by 
working diligently, and a large part of his youth was passed in as- 
sisting to clear the home farm. He lived at home until the time of 
his marriage, February 2, 1871, to Mrs. Lucinda Helwig, the widow 
of Henry Helwig and a daughter of Abe and Elizabeth Galloway, 
natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. Galloway came to Ohio as a small 
boy, his parents settling near Hamilton or Seven Mile, and later 
going to Marshall, 111., where they secured land and passed the rest 
of their lives in farming. Mr. Galloway was a Democrat, a good 
citizen and a kind father. His wife was a devout member of the old 
school Baptist church, and their ten children were reared in that 
faith : Mrs. Eberhart ; John, Rhoda. William, Martin and Thomas, 
all residents of Illinois; Jackson, of Lewisville, Ind. ; Mary Ann, 
who lives in the West ; and Hannah and Elizabeth, who are deceased. 
By her first marriage, Mrs. Eberhart has two children : William 
Helwig, who for the past seven years has been a railroad engineer 
in South America ; and Elizabeth, the wife of Leander Scheideler, 
who was a school teacher of Hamilton, O., and who died June 1, 
1919, and was buried at Hamilton. Two sons were born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Scheideler : Professor William, of Oxford university, and 
James Leslie, a druggist of Detroit, Mich. Following their mar- 
riage, Mr. and Mrs. Eberhart purchased a farm of 170 acres near 
Blue Ball, which they proceeded to develop and on which they made 
numerous improvements. In 1893 they retired from active labor 
and took up their residence at Middletown, where they became high- 
ly esteemed among the people of the community. It was their prac- 
tice to spend the winters at Lake Worth, Fla., and it was on one of 
these trips that the death of Mr. Eberhart occurred, in February, 
1917, when he had reached the advanced age of eighty-nine years. 
Mr. Eberhart was a Republican in politics, and although never an 
aspirant for official position, always took an intelligent and lively in- 
terest in public afifairs and current events. He was a man of acute 
mental powers, keen perception, sound judgment and indomitable 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 193 

energy. He will long be remembered as one of the most diligent, 
reliable and successful farmers and stock raisers of his locality. He 
and his wife belonged to the Presbyterian church at Blue Ball, and 
Mrs. Eberhart, who is in her eighty-fourth year and very spry for 
her age, still adheres to this faith. She is surrounded by all the 
comforts of life at her home, 534 East Third street, Middletown, is 
still vigorous and vivacious, and is distinguished by her many graces 
of mind and heart. She is a very estimable woman, and is held in 
cordial regard by numerous friends. 

Marcus Eck. From the year 1900 until his death, in April, 1916, 
the late Marcus Eck was identified with the farming interests of 
Madison township, Butler county, and during this time definitely 
established the fact that his years of connection with other ven- 
tures had not made it impossible for him to successfully follow the 
vocation of his youth. Mr. Eck was born in Madison township, 
September 12, 1859, a son of Levi and Eliza (Gingrich) Eck. His 
father, who was born June 14, 1827, near Tarrytown, Ind., was an 
early settler of Butler county, locating on the Joshua Fall farm, and 
later purchased the farm in section 20, Madison township, on which 
the remainder of his life was passed. He married Eliza Gingrich, 
and they became the parents of eight children: Sylvanus, of De- 
troit, Mich. ; Thaddeus, of Hamilton, O. ; Titus, deceased ; Marcus, 
deceased; Cornelius, Ferdinand, Emma, the wife of George Wood, 
of Dayton ; and Ella, the wife of Wesley Hulf, of Indianapolis, Ind. 
Marcus Eck was given good educational advantages in his youth, 
attending the home schools as well as those of Lebanon, O., and 
Hartsville. Ind., and was reared on his father's farm. He early dis- 
played a love for horses, and in this connection eventually went to 
Kentucky, where for some years he had charge of large trotting 
horse stables. The ill health of his father caused him to return to 
Madison township, in 1900. to take charge of the farm, and at the 
elder man's death, in September, 1905, he became its owner. He 
successfully managed its operation until his own death in April, 
1916. Mr. Eck was a Republican in politics, and his religious con- 
nection was with the United Brethren church. He had a wide ac- 
quaintance in the community and was respected and esteemed as a 
man of integrity and a good citizen. Mr. Eck was married near 
Walton, Ky., November 4, 1886, to Miss Alice Jefifries, who was 
born near Independence, Ky., a daughter of Jesse and Mary (Rec- 
tor) Jefifries, natives of the same community, where Mr. Jeffries 
followed farming until his death at the age of sixty years. Mr. and 
Mrs. Eck became the parents of seven children : Jessie, a graduate 
trained nurse of Battle Creek, Mich., who spent one year in the 
Oberlin (Ohio) Hospital in 1914, and a like period with Doctor 
Hatcke, of Dayton, and now the wife of W. P. Channon, of Middle- 
toAvn, O. ; Mary, who is engaged in the millinery business there ; 
Ella, a dietician in the general hospital, Boston, Mass.; Ferdinand, 
engaged in farming the home property ; and Clifford, William and 
Catherine, the latter two twins, residing with their mother. Mrs. 
Eck is a member of the First Baptist church, and is prominently 
known in charitable and religious work, being actively identified 



194 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

with the local organizations of the Ladies' Aid society and the Wo- 
man's Christian Temperance Union. 

William Thomas Edwards. In the career of William Thomas 
Edwards, industry, perseverance and continued activity along a well- 
directed line of labor in a useful trade have combined to bring him 
prosperity, contentment and a position among the substantial and 
respected citizens of his community. Mr. Edwards, who is identi- 
fied with the American Rolling mill at Middletown, in the capacity 
of roller, was born at Mountain Ash, Wales, May 31, 1874, a son of 
Pavid and Anna (Thomas) Edwards. His mother died in 1892, but 
his father still survives in hale old age. Mr. Edwards has one sister, 
Margaret, who is now the wife of James Grinage, of Pueblo, Col. 
The public schools of Wheeling furnished Mr. Edwards with his 
educational instruction, and in that intensely active industrial 
municipality he laid the foundation for his career, his training being 
all along the lines of his present work. He continued as a resident 
of Wheeling until 1911, and still retains his home there, although 
nominally living at Middletown. During the past eight years he 
has been employed in the capacity of a roller at the American Roll- 
ing mill, where he has gained his employers' confidence and respect 
by reason of his industry and close application to the duties devolv- 
ing upon him as the incumbent of his position. As a man of pleasing 
personality, he attracts friends readily and retains them indefinitely. 
In his political support Mr. Edwards is inclined to be liberal, voting 
for man rather than party and recognizing no definite factional lines. 
He belongs to the Masons and the Knights of Pythias, taking a keen 
interest in fraternal work, and his religious faith is that of the Chris- 
tian church. His good citizenship has been displayed on a number 
of occasions. December 26, 1898, Mr. Edwards was united in matri- 
mony with Daisy, daughter of George and Laura (Thomas) Deiters, 
and they are the parents of two children : Miss Laura Ann, born in 
1899, who resides with her parents at 26 S. Huron street. Wheeling, 
W. Va. ; and George, born in 1905, who is attending the public 
schools. 

William Eesley. Upon one of the oldest vocations known to 
mankind, that of milling, the Eesley family has indelibly inscribed 
its name, and a worthy representative of both the family and the 
honored vocation is found in William Eesley, a miller at College 
Corner, who is also interested as an owner in the Oxford mills. Mr. 
Eesley was born at Detroit, Mich., a son of A. R. and Jennie (Goldie) 
Miller, the latter a native of Scotland and the former of Stratford- 
on-Avon, England. A. R. Eesley came of a long line of millers, but 
in young manhood adopted the vocation of school teaching which 
he followed for several years in his native place and for a time 
taught school in the house in which the famous Bard of Avon, Wil- 
liam Shakespeare, was born. School teaching, however, was not to 
his liking. He had the family predilection for milling, and, finding 
that circumstances were not such as to encourage him in his in- 
clinations in his native land, he emigrated to the United States and 
for a time lived at Newark, N. J. Later, he went toTAyr, Canada, 
where he secured employment as a miller, and while living there 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 195 

met Jennie Goldie, who belonged to a family of millers who owned a 
mill at that place. They were married there and two children were 
born to them, J. R., who follows milling, and Mrs. J. B. Scoon, of 
Toronto. After the birth of these children, Mr. Eesley started trav- 
eling from place to place, building mills in various parts of Michigan 
and operating them, and after living for a time at Detroit finally 
located permanently at Toronto, Canada, where he operated a mill 
until his death and where his wife also passed away. Their children 
were: John R., William, Robert, A. R., C. L., and Garfield, all of 
whom became millers; Dr. George, a physician of Toronto; Anna, 
who married J. B. Scoon, of Toronto; and Mrs. Jennie Baxter and 
Mrs. George Sinclair, also of that city. William Eesley received 
his education in the public schools of Detroit, and upon the com- 
pletion of his studies traveled for a number of years as a journey- 
man miller. In 1909, he took up his residence at College Corner, 
where he has since made his home and achieved his success, being 
the owner of a prosperous milling property on the Indiana side of 
the state line, although his residence is in Ohio. He has made a 
success of this venture and is accounted one of the substantial busi- 
ness men of his locality, and is likewise a third owner in the Oxford 
mills. He has various businesses, and civic connections, and is a 
popular member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 
Mr. Eesley married Clara Peel, of Topeka, Kans., a lineal descend- 
ant of the eminent English statesman, Sir Robert Peel, and a daugh- 
ter of James and Ella Peel, of Mount Sterling, Ky. Mr. and Mrs. 
Eesley are the parents of one child: Frances, born in 1901, who 
married H. Toney, a farmer near College Corner, and has one child, 
William E. 

William J. Ehmschwender. During the entire career of William 
J. Ehmschwender, covering a period of thirty-one years, he has been 
identified with the First National bank of Hamilton, an institution 
whose growth and development he has watched with the interested 
eye of a contributor to its prosperity. He has risen, through his 
own abilities and fidelity, from a humble position to one of impor- 
tance with this large and prominent banking house, and in financial 
circles of the city and county is recognized as a man thoroughly 
schooled in all the principles and details of modern banking. Mr. 
Ehmschwender was born at Hamilton, Ohio, a son of George M. 
and Margaret (Fuhrman) Ehmschwender, whose other children 
were Amelia, George C. and John. The father, who was a baker and 
confectioner by vocation, conducted an establishment at No. 29 
High street, Hamilton, for many years, and during the days of the 
Civil war handled a number of Government contracts for the bak- 
ing of bread for use by the Union Army.- Educated primarily in the 
public schools of Hamilton, William J. Ehmschwender prepared 
himself for a business career after leaving high school by a course in 
the Ohio Commercial college. He then returned immediately to 
Hamilton, and in 1888 secured a position as bank messenger with 
the First National bank of this city. He proved energetic, faithful 
and capable, and soon was given advancement to a more responsible 
position, and from that time to the present his career has been one 



196 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

in which he has been advanced by reason of his merit and labors. At 
this time he is filling capably the office of note teller, one of the most 
responsible in the bank, calling for a high order of ability and con- 
stant application. Mr. Ehrnschwender is a member of St. John's 
Evangelical church. He is a genial, sociable man, who enjoys the 
companionship of his fellows, and is a popular member of the local 
lodges of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Fra- 
ternal Order of Eagles and the Loyal Order of Moose. 

Otto I. Ehresman. In the following out well-laid and ably- 
directed plans as foundry manager, merchant and farmer, Otto I. 
Ehresman has achieved honorable and satisfactory success, and at 
the same time has so conducted his affairs as to merit the esteem 
and confidence of his fellow-men. At the present time he is the 
owner of a valuable and well-cultivated property consisting of 258 
acres, located in Madison township, this property having been at- 
tained through the medium of his own industrious efforts. Mr. 
Ehresman was born on the old lutzi farm in Madison township, 
Butler county, Ohio, February 4, 1854, a son of Christian and Maria 
(lutzi) Ehresman, natives of Germany. The father was a young 
man when he emigrated to the United States and after his marriage 
at Trenton located on a farm north of that place, where he carried 
on operations until his death twelve years later, in 1867, when he 
was but forty-five years of age. The politics of the elder Ehresman 
made him a Democrat, and he and his wife, who survived him until 
1906 and was seventy-nine years old at the time of her demise, were 
members of the Mennonite faith. They had six children : Otto I. ; 
Bena, who married William Jotter, of Trenton ; Bertha, who is single 
and resides at Trenton ; Maria, who married William Hege, of Chi- 
cago, 111. ; Amelia, single, and a resident of Trenton ; and Louisa, 
who died when a child. Otto I. Ehresman had only a limited educa- 
tional training, as his father died when the lad was only thirteen 
years old and his labors were needed to assist in supporting the fam- 
ily. He remained at home with his mother until 1885, in which year 
he married Mary Duscher, of Madison township, Butler county, a 
daughter of Henry and Ella (Ball) Duscher, the former a native of 
Germany and the latter of the state of New York. Mr. Duscher 
was but three years of age when brought to the United States by his 
parents, the family settling at Trenton, where he grew to young 
manhood. When he embarked upon his independent career it was 
as the owner of a malt house at Hamilton and a still house at Col- 
linsville, but later he engaged in farming, and finally established a 
foundry at Hamilton, and conducted the present plant there (which 
was of his own building) until his death. He had also other busi- 
ness connections and was a man well known and highly esteemed. 
He and his wife were members of the Lutheran church and the par- 
ents of seven children : Louisa, deceased, who was the wife of Fred 
H. Burk ; Mary, who became Mrs. Ehresman ; Frank, who died 
young; Libbie, a resident of Hamilton; Sophia, who married Wil- 
liam Stephen, a coal dealer of Hamilton ; Sarah Ellen, the wife of 
Fred H. Burk; and Clara, deceased, who was the wife of Gus 
Schween, present manager of the Duscher foundry. Three children 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 197 

have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ehresman : Clarence, Victor and 
Herbert, all at home. Following his marriage, Mr. Ehresman went 
to Gratis township, Preble county, where he was engaged in farm- 
ing for a period of five years, and then returned to Butler county to 
become manager of the old Duscher foundry for his father-in-law, 
gradually advancing to the position of vice-president. He later re- 
entered in farming in Madison township for four years, and then 
purchased the old Asa Schuler place, of 258 acres, on which he car- 
ried on operations for three years. He has modern improvements 
of all kinds, and is accounted a skilled, practical and progressive 
agriculturist, and one who keeps fully abreast of all advancernents 
being made in his vocation. Mr. Ehresman has also had experience 
in commercial affairs, for during a period of thirteen years he con- 
ducted a successful grocery establishment at Trenton and main- 
tained an excellent record as a business man of marked ability and 
high principles. He is a democrat, and he and Mrs. Ehresman are 
faithful members of the Mennonite church. 

Leonard Eichler, a progressive, industrious and successful agri- 
culturist of Hanover township, and the owner of a good property, 
in the management and cultivation of which he is demonstrating 
his ability to gain good results for the labor which he expends, was 
born on a farm in St. Clair township, Butler county, Ohio, Novem- 
ber 21, 1862, a son of George and Mary (Bauman) Eichler, natives 
of Germany. Emigrating to the United States in young manhood, 
George Eichler secured a position as a hired hand on a farm in St. 
Clair township, and not long thereafter he met Miss Bauman, who 
had come to the same farm to take a position in the household 
service. They were married and for thirteen years thereafter resided 
in the same township, then moved to the property which is now 
occupied by their son Leonard. Both died firm in the faith of the 
Lutheran church and respected and esteemed by those who knew 
them. Of their three children, Leonard is the only survivor, Chris- 
tine and John being deceased. Leonard Eichler was brought up 
as a farmer's son and received his education in the public schools. 
As a youth and young man he assisted his father, and tenderly cared 
for his parents during their declining years, and at the time of 
their death inherited the home place, on which he has since carried 
on operations and as a business man he has earned the esteem and 
confidence of his associates by the honorable manner in which he 
has conducted his transactions. During the late war he was a 
generous contributor to all activities. In politics he is a Democrat, 
and he and the members of his family belong to the Reformed 
church. Mr. Eichler married Barbara, daughter of George Popp, 
of Reily township, and to this union there were bom four children, 
of whom three survive : Martha E and Frieda A., who reside with 
their parents ; and Louise M., who married Elmer Sipp and lives on 
a farm in Hanover township. 

Eikenberry Brothers Company. In business circles of Hamil- 
ton the name of Eikenberry Brothers company carries with it the 
prestige that always attaches to a house that has established its 
integrity and solidity beyond the shadow of a doubt, while among 



198 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

the general public the title stands for a concern which has never 
misrepresented its product and which has faithfully and unfailingly- 
lived up to the letter of its obligations. This wholesale flour, feed 
and seeds business was established at Hamilton some years ago, 
when E. C. and C. M. Eikenberry, brothers, came to this city and 
located themselves on Fifth street, in the Bender property. There 
they succeeded in building up a large trade and eventually found 
their quarters inadequate to the demands of the business, so that 
they took the step of building their present fine property, 42 x 110 
feet, a two-story brick and basement structure, at the corner of 
Seventh and Maple streets. Here every department is completely 
equipped and splendidly regulated, with an idea for the saving 
of time and labor and the consequent better conduct of the busi- 
ness. The Eikenberry Brothers company's flour, feed and seeds are 
widely and favorably known among the retailers, who are supplied 
direct, as only a wholesale business is done by the brothers. In 
addition to carrying on this business in a highly successful manner, 
they are interested in the grain business, and have elevators at 
Camden and Collinsville, Ohio. In all their business connections 
they have shown themselves to be upright and possessed of prin- 
ciples of fair dealing, which accounts for their excellent standings 
in business reputation and public opinion. E. C. and C. M. Eiken- 
berry were born on a farm in Preble county, Ohio, sons of Levi and 
Rebecca (Eby) Eikenberry. The parents passed their entire lives 
in that county, in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, and were 
people who had and merited the esteem and respect of their neigh- 
bors. Their family consisted of three sons and three daughters : 
E. C, of the firm ; Whitfield P., who is operating the homestead 
farm in Preble county; C. M., of the firm; Agnes, who lives on a 
part of the old home place and is the wife of W. B. Francis ; and 
Leila, the wife of J. D. Flory and a resident near Camden, Ohio. 
The public schools of Preble county furnished the early educational 
training of E. C. and C. M. Eikenberry, following which they 
attended the Ohio State university, at Athens, Ohio. They did 
not commence their careers in their present line of work, as E. C. 
Eikenberry was for some years identified with banking matters, as 
assistant cashier of the Commercial bank at Camden, and was presi- 
dent of the National Grain Dealers association, while C. M. Eiken- 
berry taught country schools for two years, and was superintendent 
of schools at West Manchester, Ohio, and county examiner for six 
years. He was also president of the Hamilton Chamber of Com- 
merce ; president of the Ohio Grain Dealers association ; served as 
county food administrator and member of a federal committee. 
However, both had inherent qualities which drew them inevitably 
into business affairs, and since coming to Hamilton they have 
assumed positions among the leading business citizens, while they 
have also been successful in making numerous friendships. E. C. 
Eikenberry married Miss Anna Phares and is the father of one 
son, William. C. M. Eikenberry married Jessie Rogers, of Ham- 
ilton, and has three children : Rebecca, Roger and Jane. Both 
families belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 199 

John W. Eiler, a skilled and thoroughly competent general 
farmer and stock raiser and the owner of 102 acres of land, but is 
now operating 344 acres, was born at Symmes Corners, Butler 
county, Ohio, December 3, 1868, a son of John and Carolina fSchafer) 
Eiler, the former a native of Butler county and the latter of Ger- 
many, in which country also was born the paternal grandfather of 
Mr. Eiler, an early settler of Seven Mile, Butler county, who was 
engaged in shoemaking there until his death. John W. Eiler 
accepted the educational opportunities offered by attendance at the 
district schools, and upon leaving the log schoolhouse of his local- 
ity took up agricultural work as a farmhand for two years. Next 
he worked for his father until he reached his majority, when he 
rented a farm in Warren county, a tract of 125 acres, which he culti- 
vated for three years. He then returned to Butler county for one 
year, but subsequently went back to Warren county and for fifteen 
years carried on operations on a rented property of 228 acres, but 
finally closed out his interests there. In 1912, he located on the 
farm which he is now renting, of 242 acres, in addition to which he 
is operating 102 acres of his own, making his property 344 acres 
in extent. While he has always been a general farmer, he has also 
found much to attract him in the raising of live stock, and is now 
feeding about 200 hogs p>er year. He is a recognized authority in 
this line, takes a deep pride in the quality of his stock, and is con- 
stantly improving his equipment for the caring for it. He also 
milks about twenty cows and does a thriving dairy business. As a 
voter, Mr. Eiler is independent in his views. He was married in 
1899 to Ida M. Dishem, and they are the parents of five children : 
Hazel, Roy, Lee, Clarence and Howard. A splendid business man, 
an excellent farmer and stockman and a genial friend, Mr. Eiler is 
a typical representative of the best class of agriculturists in this 
part of the Miami valley. 

Winfield Samuel Ekey, a shearman at the Middletown plant 
of the American Rolling Mill company, and a reliable and well-to-do 
citizen, was born near Steubenville, Ohio, September 25, 1864, a 
son of Samuel and Mary Ann (Duff) Ekey, prosperous farming 
people of that community, where the father died about 1871 and 
the mother December 7, 1878. Mr. Ekey has two brothers, Wesley 
and Charles, who are residents of Martins Ferry, Ohio, and two 
sisters, Iva and Hattie, who are deceased. Winfield S. Ekey was 
educated in the public schools of Steubenville and passed his boy- 
hood on the home farm, where he was taught the traits of thrift, 
integrity and industry. The agricultural life, however, not appeal- 
ing to him, he applied for and secured employment in the mills of 
his community, whence he came to Middletown in 1911, to enter 
the American Rolling mill. There he occupies the position of 
shearman and has the full confidence of his employers and the 
friendship and respect of his fellow-workmen. Mr. Ekey is a man 
of versatile attainments, and is especially skilled as a cabinet- 
maker. In his pretty home on Michigan avenue are to be found a 
number of pieces of handsomely wrought furniture as evidences 
of his skill and handicraft, and in addition.it was he who made the 



200 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

beautiful pulpit in the Oakland Presbyterian church at Middle- 
town. He is a popular and valued member of the local lodges of 
the Masons and the Knights of Pythias, and during the past five 
years has been a delegate to the conventions of the I. S. & J. VV. 
In politics he maintains a liberal stand, and his religious affiliation 
is with the Presbyterian church. Mr. Ekey was married Septem- 
ber 18, 1888, to Miss Elizabeth Pierce, who was born September 
18, 1868, in Wales, a daughter of Jabez and Elizabeth (Tout) 
Pierce, natives of England, the former of whom died January 13, 
1916, and the latter of whom still survives. There were six chil- 
dren born to this union : Harry B., Pierce W., Paul, Jabez, Ernest 
Edward and Elizabeth. Of these, three sons fought in the great 
World war. Pierce W. enlisted in the Fifth Field Artillery, 1st 
Division, in May, 1917, and was two years overseas. He was gassed 
and wounded June 10, 1918, in the Argonne Forest, and was tem- 
porarily blinded and confined to the hospital for three months. 
After the signing of the armistice he went with the Army of Occu- 
pation into Germany. At the beginning of the war, Paul enlisted 
in the 8th Field Artillery, 7th Division, and Jabez entered the 
Aviation Corps. Elizabeth Ekey, while on a visit with her parents 
to Camp Taylor, met at Louisville, Ky., Frederick Reese Earn- 
shaw, of San Jose, Calif., whose bride she later became. Mr. Earn- 
shaw has been in the army for five years, having enlisted in the 
artillery at the time of the Mexican trouble on the border. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw are very popular with the young people of 
Middletown, where they are temporarily making their home at 
the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Ekey. 

Andrew J. Elrick. By dint of natural ability and persever- 
ance, Andrew J. Elrick has won a substantial position among the 
reliable citizens of Middletown, at which place he is employed 
as a roller in the American Rolling mill. He is a self-made man 
and his career has been one in which he has had to depend only 
upon his own ability and resource, which have been strong enough 
to win him contentment and a goodly share of prosperity. Mr. Elrick 
was born August 5, 1882, at Cedarville, Ohio, a son of David Mc- 
Cullough and Addie (Jameson) Elrick. When he was a lad the 
family moved to Alexandria, Ind., where David M. Elrick was 
successfully engaged in contract work, a line which he followed 
until his death, April 29, 1919. Mrs. Elrick still survives and makes 
her home at Middlet€wn with her son, who has one sister, Mrs. 
William Stringhman, of this city. Andrew J. Elrick was educated 
in the public schools of Alexandria, Ind., where for a short time he 
was employed by his father in contract work, but eventually turned 
his attention to his present line, and in 1901 came to Middletown 
to accept a position with the American Rolling Mill company, with 
which he has been identified ever since. He now discharges the 
duties of roller, a position in which he has displayed physical endur- 
ance, marked intelligence and unremitting perseverance, so that 
he stands high in the favor of his employers as one to be depended 
upon. Mr. Elrick was married December 23, 1901, to Marie Dakin. 
born September 16, 1885, at Franklin, Ohio, daughter of Ira and 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 201 

Elizabeth (Bolmer) Dakin. To this union there have been born 
four children : Irvin K. ; Robert, who died in infancy ; David Mc- 
Cullough and Betty Jane. Their pleasant and tastefully furnished 
home is located at 1101 Yankee road, and is frequently the meeting- 
place of the wide circle of friends possessed by Mr. and Mrs. 
Elrick. They are consistent members of the United Presbyterian 
church, while Mr. Elrick belongs to the Loyal Order of Moose and 
the Eagles, and in political adherence supports the candidates and 
principles of the Democratic party. 

J. Charles Engel, a well-known farmer of Ross township, Butler 
county, Ohio, was born in that township, March 6, 1864, on the 
Engel homestead, in section 11. He is a son of John F. and Eliza- 
beth (Heinlein) Engel. His parents were born in Germany, com- 
ing to this country about the year 1847, locating first in Cincinnati. 
They were married near Millville, Ohio, and were the parents of 
eight children : Maggie, who married Henry Stahlheber, of Han- 
over township ; Christina, the widow of John Stahlheber of Han- 
over township; J. Charles; George J., unmarried; Mary, Elizabeth, 
William, and Annie, the last four deceased. Mr. Engel being a 
shoemaker by trade gave up this business a few years after his 
marriage, and bought a tract of ground in Ross township, whereon 
he erected a brick house and other buildings, then cleared the land, 
and improved and cultivated it, making a fine farm of his land. 
He was keeper of a toll gate for some time, and was sexton of the 
Bethel church, near Millville, Ohio, for a number of years. In 
1901 he passed away at the age of seventy-two years, wife dying 
ten years later, aged eighty-one years. He was one of the old line 
Democrats of Ohio. They were both members of the Zion Evan- 
gelical Lutheran church. J. Charles Engel received his education 
in the schools of Ross township, and after his marriage to Minnie 
Schmitt, in 1892, he took up extensive farming. His wife is a 
daughter of John and Elizabeth Schmitt. Mr. Engel and his wife 
are the parents of: Carl E., a farmer in Ross township, who married 
Luella Walker, and have one child, — Gwendolyn ; Adolph J., a 
farmer, who lives with his brother Carl ; Marie M., J. Fred, Arthur, 
Ralph E., Walter G., and Edna L., who died in infancy. The 
children were all educated in the township schools. Adolph and 
Carl attended high school at Hamilton, and Marie, Fred and Arthur 
are graduates of Venice High School. After their marriage Mr. 
and Mrs. Engel lived on the homestead, removing thence in 1909 
to Venice, Ohio, where they lived till 1917, when they built a hand- 
some home on the estate. He is the owner of eighty-six acres of 
the old Engel estate, and is also the owner of 150 acres at Venice. 
On his farms he raises some very fine live stock and in connection 
with farming carries on a dairy business. The famil}^ are all mem- 
bers of the Zion Evangelical Lutheran church at Hamilton. He is 
a member of the Democratic party. 

Ernst E. Erb. To that class of representatives of public-spirited 
citizenship who work with the full measure of manly strength for 
individual success but also unselfishly endeavor to promote the 
general prosperity, belongs Ernst E. Erb, city auditor of Hamil- 



202 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

ton. He is a native of Hamilton and a son of Philip and Alice 
(Reynolds) Erb, who were also born in Hamilton. The father, a 
tinner by trade, eventually entered the Hamilton fire department, 
of which he was a faithful member for thirty-five years. There 
were five children in the family : Ernst E., of this notice ; John, who 
married Marie Brittingham ; Harry ; George ; and Laura, who mar- 
ried William Humbach and lives in Cincinnati. Ernst E. Erb 
has always considered it a matter of good fortune that he was 
able to live through his developing years in a progressive city, 
attributing his congenial surroundings to family and friends, early 
making and always retaining a large circle of the latter. A graded 
and high school education was his preparation for business and the 
only special advantages he ever had were those which he provided 
for himself. His first employment was with the Prudential Insur- 
ance company, with which he remained several years, and then 
entered the service of the Niles Tool company, a concern with 
which he remained until appointed deputy city auditor in 1908. 
He rose from this position to that of auditor, to which he was elected 
for four successive terms of two years each and is still capably dis- 
charging the duties of his office. His official record is a splendid 
one, in which he has demonstrated the possession of marked ability 
and the desire to discharge his duties in a manner that will not 
only be acceptable but beneficial to the community. Fraternally 
he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 
The Protected Home Circle, Walnut Aid Society and the Crescent 
Aid .^'ociety and his religious connection is with St. John's Evan- 
gelical church. Mr. Erb married Miss Cora Atherton, of Hamilton, 
and four children have been born to them : Ruth, who is deceased ; 
Mildred, attending school ; Helen, who is deceased ; and Dorothy, 
born in 1915. The pleasant family home is located at 1241 Van- 
Derveer avenue. 

Otto R. Ernst. Real recognition comes to those who have 
worthily striven to win approval honorably from the men who 
understand and can properly express their confidence. The career 
of Otto R. Ernst, office manager of the important dry goods house 
of Holbrock Brothers, at Hamilton, Ohio, mirrors on its surface 
much that is conducive to a high standard of business principles 
and little that can be criticised. In his present capacity he has dem- 
onstrated and is still proving his efficiency and high capability. 
Mr. Ernst was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, November 28, 1860. Left 
an orphan in infancy, he succeeded in gaining a public school 
education, and when still a lad secured a position as errand boy 
with the firm of A. E. Burkhardt, furriers of Cincinnati, and his 
subsequent service with that concern covered a period of twenty- 
six years. During this more than a quarter century of faithful and 
capable discharge of duty, he rose steadily in position until he 
reached the post of office manager. In 1907 he accepted an offer 
from the firm of Holbrock Brothers to come to Hamilton and take 
charge of its office force in the capacity of manager, and this post 
he still retains. Mr. Ernst is a member of the Hamilton Chamber 
of Commerce and of the Retail Merchants' association, in which 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 203 

latter organization his splendid abilities are utilized as a member 
of the executive committee. Mr. Ernst married Miss Emma Greiser, 
daughter of John and Magdaline Greiser, early settlers of Ham- 
ilton, and to this union there have been born three sons and one 
daughter : Otto A., aged twenty-five years, who attended the graded 
schools and the Catholic high school of Hamilton and is at present 
record clerk in the city gas office ; Edwin, aged twenty-three years, 
who attended the same schools and is now secretary of the baurs 
Adjustment company of Hamilton; Helen, a graduate of Hamilton 
High school, later attending Notre Dame academy ; and Cornelius, 
aged eighteen years, attending high school. The family belongs 
to St. Stephen's Catholic church. 

Charles W. Ernsting, who owns and conducts one of the best 
grocery stores in Butler county, is recognized as one of the most 
sagacious business men of Hamilton. He was born at Cincinnati, 
Ohio, September 11, 1864, a son of William Ernsting. Both Wil- 
liam Ernsting and his wife were born in Germany, and after their 
marriage, they came to the United States, first stopping for a time 
in Pennsylvania, but later moving to Ohio and settling at Cincin- 
nati, where both died. They had three children born to them, 
namely: August, who is married, has two children; Charles W., 
whose name heads this review ; and Louise, who is now deceased, 
was married and had five children. Charles W. Ernsting attended 
the common schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was reared. 
Becoming self-supporting, he was employed by several Cincinnati 
grocers, but in 1885, he left Cincinnati, and for three years was 
on the road, learning the grocery business from another angle. 
Returning to Cincinnati, Mr. Ernsting was connected with the 
grocery trade of that city until April, 1896, when he came to Ham- 
ilton and established himself here as a grocer, since which time 
he has expanded his business and extended his trade until he is 
one of the leaders in his line in the city. Upon coming to Hamil- 
ton, Mr. Ernsting bought a property at 549 Franklin street, which 
he improved, and then he bought the adjoining lot at 551, building 
on the two lots. He then built on 440 Park avenue, and bought a 
residence at the corner of B and Franklin streets, later adding by 
purchase the lot next door. After the flood in 1913 he traded 
these last two properties for a quarter section of valuable land 
in Hanover township, which he rents to a tenant. Following this 
trade, Mr. Ernsting bought his present residence at 431 Ross ave- 
nue, and has made may improvements there, making it now one of 
the most comfortable houses in the city. While he was thus invest- 
ing in residence property, Mr. Ernsting had bought the store 
building and lot at the corner of Main and D streets, \yhere he has 
since continued to operate as a grocer, occupying this one stand 
for twenty-three years. November 18, 1897, Mr. Ernsting was 
united in marriage with Miss Delia Brooks, a daughter of Mr. and 
Mrs. Brooks, early settlers of Hamilton, Mrs. Brooks belonging to 
the Kimball family. Mr. and Mrs. Ernsting have two children, 
namely: Wilhelmina, who was born September 25, 1899, attended 
the grammar schools of Hamilton, and later took a business course 



204 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

at a commercial college, was married in September, 1918, to How- 
ard Hemmerick, and they live at Hamilton ; and Harry C, who was 
born June 15, 1906, is now attending the Hamilton grade school. 
Mrs. Ernsting attends the services of the Baptist church, of which 
she is a member. While he votes the Republican ticket, and gives 
to the candidates of his party a faithful support, Mr. Ernsting has 
never cared to take an active part in politics. He is a Shriner 
Mason, and also belongs to the Knights of Pythias and the Royal 
Arcanum. He has always prided himself upon being scrupulously 
upright in all of his dealings, and has studied his trade carefully 
and met its desires promptly, and so satisfactory has been the serv- 
ice he has rendered that a number of his original customers are 
retained to this day. Early learning the value of time and the 
wisdom of economy, he has become a man of means and a sub- 
stantial factor in the community where he has been engaged in 
business for so many years. 

Chalmers M. Ethel, son of George and Edith (Simons) Ethel, 
was born in Zanesville, Ohio, April 7, 1882, where much of his life 
has been spent. He has two sisters and two brothers : Emma, 
who is Mrs. Henry Rison ; Homer, Floyd, Goldie, all of whom live 
in Zanesville. His mother died in that city March 18, 1918; his 
father died at the home of his son in Middletown, Ohio, December 
12, 1918. July 17, 1905, Mr. Ethel was married to Daisy Bidoe, 
daughter of George and Carrie Bidoe. Two children have been 
born to them : Charlotte, July 14, 1907, and Stanley Arthur, August 
30, 1912. The daughter and mother possess great musical talent, 
and are pianists of more than usual excellence. Mrs. Ethel was 
born in Toledo, Ohio, August 9, 1887, and has one sister, — Linnie. 
Her father died in Cincinnati, December 5, 1918, and her mother 
still resides in that city. In 1911, Mr. Ethel came to Middletown 
from Zanesville to help start the East Side Rolling mill and is 
still employed at that place. He is a shearman, skilled and very 
reliable in his work. Mr. Ethel owns one of the most valuable 
properties on Michigan boulevard, and takes pride in the fact that 
he has by good management and thrifty habits provided such a 
splendid home for his family. H'' is a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church, and in politics is a Democrat. 

Bernard Even, who is one of the substantial farmers and good 
citizens of Union township, Butler county, was born in Hamilton 
county, Ohio, October 22, 1875, son of John and Elizabeth (Geers) 
Even, both of whom were born in Germany. The father came to 
the United States in early manhood, finding his first home in Ham- 
ilton county, Ohio. He was industrious and reliable and after 
working for a time as a farmhand, rented land for several years, 
then bought a place near Carthage, Ohio, on which he remained 
five years. For several years he resided near Sharon, after which 
he bought the small farm in Hamilton county on which he lived 
during the rest of his life, his death occurring in July, 1915. The 
mother of Mr. Even died in 1901. They had eight children, four of 
whom are living: Philomena, Elizabeth, Mary and Bernard. Bern- 
ard Even obtained his education in Hamilton county. He has 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 205 

been a farmer all his life, working on the home farm until his 
marriage, after which he rented the farm his father had bought in 
1886, and bought it in 1906. He now owns 103 acres, all well im- 
proved, and here is profitably carrying on general farming and 
raises some good grade stock. In 1906 he married Anna, daughter 
of Joseph Schwegman, and they have the following children : Syl- 
vester, Mary, Joseph, Raymond, Leona, Charles, Rosella and Alma. 
Mr. Even and his family are well known in their neighborhood and 
are members of the Catholic church at Glendale. In politics he has 
always been a Democrat, but has never been a seeker for public 
office. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Fabing. Among the well-known and highly 
esteemed women of Middletown, who has been a resident of this 
city for a number of years, is Mrs. Elizabeth Fabing, now residing 
in her pleasant home at 625 Curtis avenue. Mrs. Fabing was 
born and reared near Amanda, Ohio, a daughter of Peter and Lena 
(Rhoades) Troutwine, and received her education in the public 
schools. She made her home with her parents until her marriage. 
May 17, 1887, in the Methodist church at Middletown, to John 
Fabing, the ceremony being performed by the Reverend Oglesby. 
John Fabing was born in 1865 and for many years was well and 
favorably known in mercantile circles of Middletown, where he was 
the proprietor of a prosperous shoe business, built up through his 
industry and good management, and was also the appraiser and a 
director of the Middletown Building association. His death oc- 
curred at the age of fifty-two years, July 12, 1917, he being sincerely 
mourne i by a wide circle of acquaintances who had come to know 
his sterling qualities of mind and heart. Mr. and Mrs. Fabing 
were the parents of three children : Elizabeth, who became the wife 
of Arthur Kerschbaum ; Paul John, who served in the great World 
war; and May, a beautiful young woman, whose death, February 
4, 1917, was a terrible bereavement to her mother. Arthur Kersch- 
baum is a son of Jacob and Barbara (Wagner) Kerschbaum, the 
former of whom is foreman of the Middletown Machine company, 
while Arthur is bookkeeper for the Sorg Paper company. He and 
Mrs. Kerschbaum have a pretty little daughter, Elizabeth Ann, 
whose coming, in 1918, brought sunshine again into Mrs. Fabing's 
life and helped her in part to forget her great sorrow. Mr. Kersch- 
baum had seven sisters and brothers : Esther, Ralph, Freda, Paul, 
Carl, Elsie and Mark. Mrs. Fabing also acts as a mother to her 
niece and nephew, Charles and Mary Bogan, who have lost their 
parents, Robert and Rose (Troutwine) Bogan. These children 
are attending the Ohio State university, where Charles is studying 
chemistry and Mary is taking a classical course. Mrs. Fabing is 
the owner of an attractive modern home on Curtis avenue. She is 
a woman of many graces and accomplishments and an active mem- 
ber of the Lutheran church, and her charities extend to many 
worthy movements and institutions. 

Henry Fall. One cannot follow the long career of Henry Fall 
without a renewed appreciation of those sterling homely qualities 
which, when allied with practical business sense, lift men from 



206 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

obscurity and dependence to position and prosperity. His career 
has been one in which industry has played a leading part in chang- 
ing his fortunes and his present standing in his community in a 
financial way is indicated by the ownership of a splendid property 
of 279 acres located on the Winchester pike, not far from Middle- 
town, in Butler county. Mr. Fall was born near Middletown, Ohio, 
and is a son of Josiah and Susan (Smith) Fall. His parents were 
industrious and God-fearing people, who tilled their acres faith- 
fully, made a good home for tneir family, and reared their children 
to lives of honesty and industry. Nine children were born to them ; 
Henry; John W., who is a resident of California; Mary, deceased, 
who was the wife of Daniel Weikle ; David, who is deceased ; Ella, 
who is the wife of Gus Hinkle, of Monroe, Ohio ; Samuel, who is a 
resident of the west; Levina, who is the wife of O. Huffman, de- 
ceased ; Emma, who is the wife of Rudolph Augsburger, of Monroe, 
Ohio ; and Wilson, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in the 
neighborhood of Middletown on the Miltonville road. Henry Fall 
received his educational training in the district schools of his native 
locality, and the position which he occupied in the family made it 
necessary that a large part of his boyhood and youth be spent in 
hard work so that he could assist in the support and education of 
his younger brothers and sisters. When he embarked upon a 
career of his own, it was as a farmer, and this has been the voca- 
tion to which he has devoted his energies all his life. That he has 
been successful in his undertakings is shown in his present prop- 
erty, a handsomely improved tract of 279 acres, on which there are 
to be found a modern home with all comforts and conveniences, a 
commodious barn, fully equipped, and fine outbuildings to corre- 
spond. For the most part, the land is devoted to the growing of 
grain, of which it produces luxuriant crops, but Mr. Fall has also 
experimented successfully with the raising of live stock, a field 
from which he derives a goodly part of his income. Mr. Fall is a 
farmer of ability, combining hard, practical sense with a willing- 
ness to try new methods and adopt them when found practicable, 
and is adjudged an authority on certain matters pertaining to his 
occupation. He was married in 1885 to Mary Eliza, daughter of 
James and Maria (Brelsford) Schenck, and to this union there have 
been born four children : Charles, who is his father's assistant in 
the operation of the home farm, married Mabel, daughter of Ed and 
Maria (Gebhart) Smith ; Alfred, who married Ida Guilder, and car- 
ries on farming in the same locality; and Earl, married Clara 
Gingrich of Jacksonboro, Ohio, and Hubert, who reside with their 
parents. Mrs. Fall has three brothers : William B., James R. and 
Ed Schenck, all of West Middletown. Politically Mr. Fall is a 
Democrat, but politics have played only a small part in his career, 
he having been content with the activities of his farm. He and 
Mrs. Fall are consistent members of the United Brethren church, 
and are known for their good citizenship and their generous support 
of all worthy causes. 

Wilson Fall. Few families of the agricultural community of 
Butler county have been represented in this part of the Miami 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 207 

valley longer than has that bearing the name of Fall. Among its 
members have been many of sound worth who have advanced to 
positions of prosperity in the various communities in which they 
have resided or still make their homes, and among these one who 
is well worthy of bearing the name is Wilson Fall, who operates 
a well-cultivated property on the Miltonville road, not far from 
the city of Middletown. This substantial and progressive agricul- 
turist was born near Germantown, Ohio, October 28, 1870, his 
parents being Josiah and Susan (Smith) Fall, who both came of 
fine old pioneer stock. They were good, Christian people, who 
devoted themselves faithfully to the cultivation of their farm, to 
the making of a good home for their family and to the proper rear- 
ing of their children to truth and sobriety, and who were esteemed 
in their community. Nine children were born to them : Henry, 
who is farming 225 acres on the Winchester pike, not far from 
Middletown ; John W., who is a resident of California ; Mary, de- 
ceased, who was the wife of Daniel Weikle ; David, who is deceased ; 
Ella, who is the wife of Gus Hinkle, of Monroe, Ohio; Samuel, who 
is a resident of the West; Levina, who is the wife of O. Huffman; 
Emma, who is the wife of Rudolph Augsburger, of Monroe, Ohio; 
and Wilson, of this review. Wilson Fall was given his educational 
training in the public schools of his native community and was 
thoroughly instructed by his father in the arts of agriculture, gain- 
ing his experience at first hand and having each lesson vividly 
impressed upon his mind through hard work and actual contact with 
his study. He naturally adopted agriculture as his vocation when 
he reached years of manhood, and to this occupation he has since 
devoted himself with success, being at this time the owner of a 
farm of eighty-five acres of highly productive land. Everything 
about this property gives ample evidence of the presence of good 
management and up-to-date methods, and the property has been 
enhanced, both in appearance and value by the erection of splendid 
bams and outbuildings, as well as the recently built brick bunga- 
low, which forms an attractive home. Mr. Fall devotes his ener- 
gies principally to the raising of grain, although he has also met 
with merited success in his breeding of live stock, for which he 
finds a ready market at good prices. His reputation in business 
circles for absolute integrity and fidelity has been gained through 
years of straightforward dealing and honorable living up to 
contracts. In political matters he is a Democrat and is staunch 
in his party's candidates and principles. With his family, he attends 
the United Brethren church, of which he and Mrs. Fall are mem- 
bers. Mr. Fall was united in marriage with Louisa, daughter of 
Nathan and Laura (Brelsford) Schenck, well known people of this 
county. She died on the farm in 1913 after years of devoted work 
at the side of her husband, leaving two children: Herbert and 
Velma, the latter now Mrs. Fred Sixt, who reside on the farm with 
their father. 

George Herbert Fanning, the subject of this sketch, has been 
a wideawake citizen of Middletown for the past eighteen years, 
when he came from Cincinnati and identified himself with the 



208 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

American Rolling Mill company as a roller. He comes from a 
sturdy ancestry. His father was born in Pittsburg, Pa. ; his mother, 
in Belfast, Ireland. His grandfather emigrated to this country and 
located in Pittsburg, Pa. The Fanning family is of French extrac- 
tion and the original name was Vanning. Somewhere along the 
line of descent, "F" was substituted for "V." George Herbert, son 
of John and Margaret (Nicholson) Fanning, was born in Pittsburg, 
February 2, 1868. His father died in the spring of 1900 ; his mother, 
in October, 1894. He has a sister and three brothers : Lydia, Mrs. 
Fred Gardner, in Pittsburg; William, in Piqua, Ohio; Andrew, in 
Follansbee, Va. ; Edward, near Pittsburg. June 24, 1890, our sub- 
ject married Martha R. Grubb, daughter of Eli and Elmira (Han- 
sell) Grubb, of Philadelphia, Pa. She was a native of Pennsylvania, 
born near Philadelphia, October 7, 1868. Her father served three 
years in the War of the Rebellion ; her mother died in June, 1916, 
and she has two sisters, Irene, Mrs. Arthur Hill, in Boston ; Ollie, 
Mrs. Ralph Weaver, in Kansas City, Mo. To Mr. and Mrs. Fanning 
were born four children ; Franklin Herbert, Walter, Harry, de- 
ceased ; and May Rena. Walter is a graduate of the Green School 
of Pharmacy at Indianapolis, Ind., also from the Middletown High 
school. He owns and conducts a large and well-stocked drug store 
at the corner of Sixth street and Yankee road, and by reason of his 
skill, courtesy and capability has established a fine business. Mr. 
Fanning owns a beautiful and well-arranged home, in which he 
takes great pride and which affords him, his family and friends much 
enjoyment. He is a member of the Episcopal church, and politically 
does not affiliate with any party but is liberal. 

Samuel Farnsworth. For a number of years Samuel Farns- 
worth has made his home in Middletown and has been prominently 
identified with its upbuilding and prosperity, especially along in- 
dustrial and agricultural lines. He is a ma,n of superior business 
ability and sound judgment and has won that prosperity which is 
the merited reward of honorable effort. As a citizen he has been 
always thoroughly interested in whatever has tended to promote 
the welfare of the community in which he has resided. Mr. Farns- 
worth was born on a farm in Huron county, Ohio, November 2, 
1870, a son of Henry and Lavina (Close) Farnsworth, formerly of 
Ashland county, Ohio, who rounded out their long and useful lives 
in Huron county, where they were highly respected as being among 
the best element of the agricultural class. As a youth Samuel Farns- 
wortV attended the public schools of his native community, and 
while e^rowing up on his father's farm became interested in the 
habits of the odd little animal known as the ferret. Continued in- 
terest and study led him to commence raising several of these little 
weasel-like creatures, first as pets, but later as a matter of business, 
and this enterprise he soon built up to large proportions. He esti- 
mates that during the period he was thus engaged that he raised in 
the neighborhood of 8,000 of these useful animals, which were 
shipped not only to all points all over the United States, but to vari- 
ous other countries, as well, some even being sent to Japan. The 
principal uses to which these ferocious creatures are put are rabbit- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 209 

hunting (for which they must be muzzled) and rat-catching. The 
great flood which swept this part of the country robbed Mr. Farns- 
worth of his business in 1913, for it swept away all of his animals, 
and he knew too well the difficulty of gathering together enough to 
begin business anew. However, he had not all of his eggs in one 
basket, for he was interested in a fertilizer plant at Middletown, and 
to this he began to give more of his attention. Also, in 1905, he had 
purchased at Middletown the 125-acre property which was known 
as the old Wrenn farm, and on which he had been raising principally 
corn and alfalfa. He built a beautiful new home on this property, 
when the old house on another part of the farm burned he replaced 
it with a new one, and in addition made numerous other improve- 
ments, making this one of the most valuable and attractive proper- 
ties in this part of the county. Also, he began the buying, fattening 
and sale of hogs, and this business has grown to a point where his 
annual shipments and sales approximate in the neighborhood of 
from 300 to 500 hogs. So that the loss of his ferret-raising busi- 
ness, which seemed like a great calamity at the time, has not turned 
out so disastrously in the light of subsequent results. Mr. Farns- 
worth is a self-made man. He started his career practically empty- 
handed and has gained his own success and advancement. His 
business methods have been straightforward and his prosperity has 
been won through the utilization of opportunities and through the 
exercise of his native talents and acquired ability. He is fraternally 
popular with his fellow-members in the local lodges of the Odd Fel- 
lows and the Elks, and his political support is given to the Republi- 
can party. Mr. Farnsworth was married in 1903 to Miss Lola Bab- 
cock, daughter of Oren W. and Etta (Searls) Babcock, natives of 
Lorain county, Ohio, and to this union were born two children : 
Oren W. and Samuel jr. Mrs. Farnsworth died September 28, 1919. 
John W. Faucett. The substantial growth and development of 
the enterprise known as the Faucett Transfer and Storage company, 
of Hamilton, is another indication of the value of industry and fidel- 
ity when applied to legitimate undertakings and directed along 
well-defined channels of business. Starting in a small way, in 1895, 
under the impetus of its founder and proprietor, John W. Faucett, 
it has advanced into being one of Hamilton's leading establishments 
and has its recognized place in the business life of the city. John W. 
Faucett was born at Frankton, on Pipe Creek, Madison county, Ind., 
June 25, 1863, a son of David and Margaret Faucett. His father was 
born and reared at Hamilton, Ohio, but in young manhood moved to 
Frankton, Ind., and settled down to farming in that community for 
a time. He was married there, but subsequently moved to Spring- 
field, Ohio, and later to Millville, at both of which places he con- 
tinued his agricultural operations. His death occurred when he was 
fifty-nine years of age. He and his wife were the parents of two 
sons : Joseph, of Hamilton, and John W. John W. Faucett attended 
the graded schools of Millville, and for a time followed farming in 
association with his father, at Millville. Later he embarked in farm- 
ing on his own account, as a renter of land at Fairplay, Ohio, but 
eventually decided that agricultural work was not his forte, and 



210 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

accordingly came to Hamilton to seek some other field of endeavor. 
For two years he was engaged in ordinary teaming, with his own 
teams, but in 1895 started a transfer business, his equipment at that 
time consisting of a wagon and two horses. He was expeditious in 
carrying out his business, prompt, careful and efficient, and soon his 
business began to grow and he was forced to add to his equipages. 
In 1907 Mr. Faucett incorporated the business as the Faucett Trans- 
fer and Storage Company, with a plant at Seventh and Maple streets, 
and took E. C. Hufifman into the enterprise as a partner. At this 
time the company owns many head of horses, several trucks and a 
modern barn and storage building at the above named address. The 
business has grown from practically nothing to be a $30,000 con- 
cern, examplifying the true spirit of progress with which Mr. Faucett 
is imbued. In 1906 he bought a property at 714 Ludlow street, where 
he resided for five years, and then purchased the property at Seventh 
and High streets, where he now lives with his family. In 1890 Mr. 
Faucett was united in marriage with Miss Minnie A. Mohler, a 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Mohler, of Fairplay, Ohio, and 
to this union there have been born two children : May, educated in 
the public schools and a graduate of the Hamilton High school, now 
the wife of Fred H. Van Sickle, of Middletown ; and Herschel, a 
graduate of Hamilton schools, who married Miss Anna Levline, of 
Hamilton, and became identified with the Faucett Transfer and 
Storage company. Mr. Faucett and his family attend the Methodist 
church. He is interested in fraternal work, as a member of the Ma- 
sons, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, in all of which he is popular. He is in 
charge of the horse department of the Butler County Agricultural 
Society, of which he has been a member for a number of years, and 
is generally accounted an excellent judge of horse-flesh. His politi- 
cal views make him a supporter of the principles of the Democrat 
party. 

Robert C. Faust. In the late Robert C. Faust, Butler county 
had a citizen who contributed to its upbuilding a number of years of 
industrious work as an agriculturist and the development of a val- 
uable and well-cultivated farm. Although many years have passed 
since he joined the great majority, July 1, 1890, his methodical and 
upright life is recalled as a useful lesson by the many friends and 
associates who survive him and who, like himself, recognize the 
value of principle as a valuable financial asset. Mr. Faust was born 
in Hamilton county, O., April 21, 1836, a son of Peter and Rebecca 
(Cunningham) Faust, of the same county. His father was originally 
a carriage and wagon maker of Hamilton county, later secured a 
farm in Warren county, and finally moved to Middletown, where 
both he and Mrs. Faust passed away. Their five children were : 
Robert C. ; Lucy, deceased, who was the wife of James N. Schenck 
of Middletown ; Amanda, deceased, who was the wife of William 
White, of Dayton ; Carrie, deceased, who was the wife of the late 
Capt. Frank Helwig; and Abbie, the widow of John Nils, of Cin- 
cinnati. Robert C. Faust was educated at College Hill, O., and in 
his youth learned the trade of carriage and wagon maker in his 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 211 

father's shop. Later he became a merchant at Pisgah, but disposed 
of his interests there when his father became a farmer and accom- 
panied the elder man into the vocation of agriculture. He was mar- 
ried in Warren county, Ohio, to Miss Elvira Keever, of Union 
Village, O., a daughter of Thomas and Mary A. (Ferine) Keever, 
both of Warren county, although the latter's parents were natives 
of Kentucky. Thomas Keever was a son of Abraham and Margaret 
(Jones) Keever, of Pennsylvania, the latter of Scotch descent. 
Abraham Keever, one of the pioneers of Warren county, settled in 
the heavy timber, cleared a farm and made a home, and rounded out 
a long and useful agricultural career. He and his wife were the 
parents of twelve children: Joe, Anthony, John, Philip, Joseph, 
Abraham, George, Thomas, Elizabeth, Lavina, Mary and Hannah. 
Thomas Keever lived at Union Village, in Warren county, where 
he owned a farm of 300 acres, but sold this in 1863 and thereafter 
lived at the homes of his children until his death in July, 1895. He 
was a Republican in his political views, and Mrs. Keever was a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church. They were the parents of seven children, 
as follows : John, who died at Lebanon, O., married Ruth Lamb ; 
Mary Ellen, who married Benjamin Yeager, of Lebanon ; James, a 
former farmer and county commissioner who retired to Lebanon and 
there died; Margaret, the widow of William Tullis, residing at 
Franklin ; George, a member of Company A, 35th Regiment, O. V. L, 
who met a soldier's death on the battlefield of Chickamauga during 
the Civil war; Mrs. Faust; and Martha, deceased, who was the wife 
of James Thompson, a Civil war veteran. In 1873 Mr. and Mrs. 
Faust moved to Madison township, Butler county, and bought the 
Isaac Gephart farm of eighty acres, in section 35. There they made 
numerous improvements, developing an excellent property, and Mr. 
Faust continued to follow general farming until the time of his 
death. He was a Republican in his political afifiliation and a man 
who was universally esteemed wherever known. He and Mrs. Faust 
became the parents of three children : Elmore C, bom March 9, 
1870, who formerly was employed at the tool works at Hamilton, 
but now a grocer at Germantown, married Mary Swartzel, and has 
one son, Robert, married Myrtle Witz July 21, 1915 ; Mary, born 
September 6, 1874, who died in 1876 ; and Clarence K., born August 
25, 1879, who has always remained on the home farm, married No- 
vember 19, 1902, Miss Helen Banker, daughter of Samuel and Nancy 
(Barkelow) Banker, of Madison township. Mr. Banker was a farmer 
of that township, where he died in 1888, and Mrs. Banker now re- 
sides at Memphis, Tenn. There were three children in the Banker 
family: Bertha, who married Frank Selby, of Madison township; 
Wilson, a salesman of Memphis, Tenn., who married Hattie Cham- 
berlin ; and Helen, Mrs. Faust. Mrs. Robert C. Faust, who survives 
her husband and resides on the home farm, is one of the best-known 
residents of Madison township, where she has numerous friends. 

Timothy D. Fessenden. For a quarter of a century passengers 
traveling between the cities of St. Louis and Cincinnati, on the Bal- 
timore & Ohio railroad, were known to Timothy D. Fessenden, for 
during that long period he had a passenger run between those points. 



212 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

In this long service, his unfailing courtesy, efficiency and general 
fidelitr to the interests of his road made him one of the best known 
conductors 'on the line, as well as one of the most popular, and 
when he retired, in 1916, countless inquiries were made as to his 
whereabouts and welfare. Mr. Fessenden was born near Hamilton, 
Ohio, in October, 1851, a son of Benjamin Franklin Fessenden, born 
October 16, 1816, at Winchester, Mass., and Maria E. (McNeil) 
Fessenden, of Butler county, Ohio, whom he married September 12, 
1844. She was a daughter of Lazarus and Jane McNeil, of Penn- 
sylvania, who were early settlers of near Symmes Corners, Butler 
county, where Mr. McNeil was a farmer, and where both he and his 
wife died in 1860. The McNeil children were : Nancy A., who mar- 
ried Dr. Lawson Smith, of Hamilton ; Sarah Jane ; Maria Elizabeth, 
who became Mrs. Fessenden ; Martha, who married Thomas Mitch- 
ell, of Hamilton ; Cornelius W. H., who married Maria H. Gaston, of 
Mount Healthy, Ohio ; and Rebecca Caroline, who married L. H. 
Vinnedg. Benjamin F. Fessenden was a son of Timothy Fessen- 
den, who was born June 6, 1773, and died October 22, 1834. He mar- 
ried Submit Hunt, of Winchester, Mass., born May 17, 1775, and 
they became the parents of seven children, as follows : Reuben, born 
February 1, 1801 ; Rufus, born August 7, 1802; Timothy, born Aug- 
ust 22, 1804 ; John, born September 30, 1806 ; Benjamin F., born June 
5, 1809; Maria, born January 4, 1812; and Benjamin F., II, born Oc- 
tober 16, 1816. The parents of Timothy D. Fessenden were killed 
in a railroad accident at Cumminsville, O., September 28, 1858. 
They were honest and honorable. God-fearing, agricultural people 
and faithful members of the Presbyterian church, and were the par- 
ents of six children : an infant daughter, born in 1845 ; Mary F., 
born September 5, 1846, married March 17, 1869, John A. McConnell, 
who died July 23. 1901, and she died October 12, 1918 ; Lazarus, born 
June 10, 1849, died August 16, 1850; Timothy Dwight, of this notice ; 
Lazarus F., born March 18, 1854, married September 5, 1877, Mar- 
garet Brown of Sedalia, Mo. ; and Jennie E., born May 14, 1857, died 
August 3, 1860. The first of the Fessenden family to come to this 
country was John Fessenden, who, with his wife, Jane, emigrated 
from County Kent, England, and settled at Cambridge, Mass., in 
about the year 1636. They had land at Cambridge and Charlestown, 
John Fessenden was admitted as a freeman in 1641, and both were 
members of the Church at Cambridge in 1658, the name on the 
Church record being "Fezington." John Fessenden was a select- 
man at Cambridge and died in 1666, while his wife Jane survived un- 
til January, 1682. As they had no issue it was necessary to send to 
England for heirs to the estate, and Nicholas and Hannah Fessen- 
den, supposed to be brother and sister, and nephew and niece of 
John Fessenden, came to this country. Timothy Dwight Fessen- 
den is of the sixth generation of this family. Mr. Fessenden was 
but seven years of age when his parrents died, and he went to make 
his home with his Grandfather McNeil until the latter's death in 
1860, when he took up his residence at the home of his uncle, Cornel- 
ius McNeil, where he lived until 1865. He secured his education in 
the private school of Professor Starr, at Seven Mile, and at Hamil- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 213 

ton, O., and in 1868 went to Sedalia, Mo., where for two years he was 
a clerk in a shoe store. Being naturally attracted to railroad work, 
in 1870 he secured a position with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas 
railroad, running between that point and Parsons, Kans., as bag- 
gageman and freight conductor. November 1, 1875, he went to 
work for the O. & M. Railroad, out of St. Louis, as brakeman, hold- 
ing that post until 1877, when he became freight agent at Flora, III. 
In 1882 he was given a passenger conductor run on the Baltimore & 
Ohio, or the line that later became a part of that system, running 
between St. Louis and Cincinnati, and for twenty-five years con- 
tinued to perform his duties faithfully, retiring February 19, 1916, 
since which time he has resided in his comfortable home at Seven 
Mile. Mr. Fessenden was married February 1, 1876, to May J., 
daughter of Isaac and Malinda (Ray) Snively, the former bom 
August 20, 1820, and the latter a daughter of Philip and Eleanor 
Ray, of Butler county. Mr. and Mrs. Snively were married June 1, 
1848. The first of the Snively family to come to this country was 
John Snively, of Switzerland, born in 1659, who fled to the American 
colonies to escape religious persecution. He settled in Lancaster 
county. Pa., in 1714, was naturalized at Philadelphia, October 14, 
1729, and died in 1743. He left one son, Henry Snively, sr., born in 
^1771, and died November 2, 1826. He married Catherine, daughter 
of Henry and Barbara Hershey, born February 28, 1776, and died 
August 17, 1847, who had come as a child to Butler county. Henry 
and Catherine Snively had the following children : Joseph, born 
August 28, 1795, married December 14, 1817 to Eleanor Stottler, 
born August 1, 1793, who died July 20, 1819, and after her death 
again married ; Henry, jr., married first Miss Clark, second Catherine 
Hurst and third Isabella Wills ; David, born April 30, 1804; married 
October 30, 1828, Sophia Falls ; Jacob, born April 20, 1804; Samuel, 
born March 13, 1806, married Adeline Leigh ; Elizabeth, married 
Henry Flickinger ; Hannah, married James Johnson; Barbara, mar- 
ried first Henry Newcomer and second Samuel Nixon ; Benjamin, 
bom in December, 1812; and Isaac C, born August 20, 1820, died 
September 23, 1869. Isaac C. Snively, father of Mrs. Fessenden, was 
educated in the home schools of his native locality and lived on the 
home place for a number of years, becoming one of the well-to-do 
agriculturists of his community and finally removing to Seven Mile, 
lived there for a few years, later removing to the old home place 
where he lived retired and died there. He was an influential citizen 
and a Republican in politics, and Mrs. Snively was a member of the 
Presbyterian church. They were the parents of the following chil- 
dren : Ellen Catherine, born April 26, 1849, who died May 8, 1850; 
Andrew Oscar, born November 18, 1850, who married Kate, daugh- 
ter of Henry and Elizabeth Dransfield of Butler county, and mar- 
ried, second, Mrs. Beatrice Throckmortin ; Mrs. Fessenden ; Charles 
Anderson, born June 29, 1855, who died February 24, 1863 ; Hannah 
Maria, born October 20, 1857, died October 31, 1915; Ella Malinda, 
born September 20, 1860, who married Joseph Clark and died Sep- 
tember 10, 1893 ; Henry Clay, born May 20, 1862, married August 16, 
1894, Luverna Yager; Phillip Ray, born November 22, 1865, married 



214 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Emma Horner ; and Fannie Fern, born November 22, 1865, who died 
December 5, 1867. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Fessenden : Isaac F., born September 20, 1878, w^ho died March 16, 
1879; Edwin Allen, born August 14, 1882; and Charles Horace, born 
January 28, 1885. Edwin Allen Fessenden was educated in the pub- 
lic schools, at St. Louis Manual Training school and at the Univers- 
ity of Missouri, Columbia, where he was graduated in 1904. After 
spending one year at Springfield as a mechanical engineer, he was 
appointed to the University of Missouri as assistant professor of 
mechanical engineering, and in 1916 became professor of mechanical 
engineering in the State College of Pennsylvania. He married Abi- 
gail Sayward Roper, of Springfield, 111., who died December 31, 
1915, leaving one child, Mary E. For his second wife, Mr. Fessen- 
den married Louisa French Matheney, also of Springfield. Charles 
Horace Fessenden attended the public schools, the St. Louis Man- 
ual Training school, and the University of Missouri, and after his 
graduation from the last-named, in 1906, went to New York City. 
He was with the Aultman-Taylor Manufacturing company of Mans- 
field, Ohio, for one year, and was then appointed professor of me- 
chanical engineering in the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. 
In June, 1917, he enlisted in the United States service and received 
his commission as captain in the ordnance department, and was 
located at the Frankfort Arsenal, Philadelphia, Pa. Timothy D. 
Fessenden is a Chapter Mason at Flora, 111., and a member of the 
Commandery at Olney, 111., and his sons are also members of this 
order. The entire family belongs to the Presbyterian church, which 
the parents attend at Seven Mile. 

Mathew Fichter was born in Reily township, Butler county, 
December 7, 1877, a son of George and Mary Catherine Fichter, the 
former coming to this country from Germany at the age of nineteen, 
the latter from Alsace-Lorraine when she was nine years old. They 
were married in Millville, Ohio, and for a few years lived in that 
town where he followed the trade of carpentering. Subsequently 
they removed to Morrison, 111., where he worked as a cabinet maker, 
a trade he had learned in Germany. After a few years he returned 
to Millville, thence to St. Charles, Ohio, finally locating in Reily, 
where he worked as a carpenter to the end of his days. He and his 
wife were charter-members of the German Reformed church, Mill- 
ville, and were highly thought of in the community. To them were 
born the following children : Jacob, Anna, Fred, John, Dora, Wil- 
liam, Mathew, and Albert, the last named now deceased. George 
Fichter died in 1907 at the age of seventy-two and is survived by his 
widow, who still lives at Reily at the venerable age of eighty-three. 
Mathew Fichter accomplished his early education in the common 
schools at Reily, and after leaving school engaged in the butcher 
business for a period of eleven years. By the exercise of thrift and 
foresight during that period he was enabled to embark in business 
for himself, buying out the general store business of H. L. Roll. This 
soon proved a paying venture and he took into partnership his 
brother William, and Clarence Evans ; the three together have en- 
larged the business in such a way as to be a credit to themselves 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 21S 

and a real asset to the town. He is prominent in all local activities, 
both civic and social, and fraternally holds membership in the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellow^s. In 1916 he married Miss Hazel E. 
Siebert, daughter of Frank X. Siebert of Brookville, Indiana, and 
they have one daughter, Mary Ellen, aged three years. 

William Fichter, one of the substantial merchants of Reily, 
Ohio, was born in that town, a son of George and Mary Catherine 
Fichter, mention of whom has been made in the biographical sketch 
of Mathew Fichter. William's educational training was acquired in 
the common schools at Reily. After leaving these he took up the 
calling of butcher and intermittently that of druggist and carpenter. 
In addition to these vocations he occupied himself with teaching in 
the local schools for a period of eleven years, inculcating the prin- 
ciples "-if Americanism in the youth of his generation. Following 
this he entered into business with his brother, acquiring a one-third 
partnership in a general store at Reily, where he brought into the 
business the same insight and judgment that he had displayed so 
successfully in his previous efforts. Politically he is in sympathy 
with the JefJersonian doctrines and has served as postmaster for ten 
years in his home city. Fraternally he is a member of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and has shown a true patriotism in 
all his activities connected with the war. On June 23, 1917, he mar- 
ried Miss Mabel Bell, a daughter of Robert and Rebecca Bell of 
Hamilton, Ohio, and to them has been born one son, Robert Francis. 

George W. Finkbone, one of the enterprising and progressive 
farmers and highly esteemed citizens of Butler county, has been a 
life-long resident of this part of the Miami valley, where he is widely 
and favorably known. The owner of a well-cultivated and highly 
improved farm located on Brown's run, near Middletown, he brings 
to his labors a scientific touch that enables him to produce bounteous 
crops, thereby placing him among the men of ability whose opera- 
tions are serving to maintain high agricultural standards in this part 
of the Miami valley region. Mr. Finkbone was born on his father's 
farm in Butler county, Ohio, February 22, 1867, his parents being 
John W. and Mary Finkbone. His father, John W. Finkbone, was 
born in Berks county, Pa., May 22, 1832, a son of John and Susanna 
(Smith) Finkbone, natives of Wurtemberg, Germany. His ma- 
ternal great-grandfather, George McNealy, served as a soldier dur- 
ing the War of 1812 and lost his life by drowning during the en- 
gagement of Lake Erie, while a further military touch is given the 
family history by the splendid record of John B. Long. Mr. Fink- 
bone's uncle, who fought four years as a Union soldier during the 
Civil war. John W. Finkbone was but ten 3'ears of age when brought 
by his parents from Berks county, Pa., to Ohio, in 1842, the family 
settling in Butler county, where the youth grew to manhood and 
applied himself to the pursuits of agriculture. He continued to be 
engaged therein during the rest of his active life, but is now retired 
and makes him home with his son, George W. He has been active 
in affairs in his neighborhood, and for nine years served as a mem- 
ber of the board of directors of the school board. There were ten 
children in his family: John W., Mary E., Tobias L., Ezra, Sarah 



216 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Jane, George W., Jacob, Susanna, Mattie and Amanda. George W. 
Finkbone secured his education in the country schools and as a 
youth was trained to agricultural pursuits. His entire life has been 
devoted to the tilling of the soil, and he is now the owner of a hand- 
some property, and as a citizen and successful farmer is respected 
by all who know him. He married Mary E. Slade, who was born in 
Butler county, daughter of John Wesley and Margaret (Barnhart) 
Slade, August 12, 1903, and they are the parents of two sons : John, 
born in 1906; and Tobias, born in 1907. As a citizen Mr. Finkbone 
has discharged faithfully every duty devolving upon him, and has 
rendered signal service to his community, having served as a mem- 
ber of the board of directors of the Poplar Ridge school. District 
No. 13, for eleven years. He is a Republican in his political tenden- 
cies, although not an active politician as the term is generally under- 
stood. He was reared in the faith of the Baptist church, of which 
he has always been a member and to which Mrs. Finkbone also be- 
longs. 

First & Merchants National Bank of Middletown. Although 
changes have been made in the names of some of the really im- 
portant financial institutions of Middletown, several of these are 
in reality the same concerns which had their inception during the 
early days of the city's era of business growth, and which have not 
only profited by the municipality's expansion and prosperity but 
have themselves been contributing factors to the progress that has 
made such a growth possible. Leading among these is the Merchants 
National bank, the largest financial institution of the city and one 
which has developed along conservative, although progressive lines. 
This substantial banking house was founded in 1868-1869 by a part- 
nership consisting of Charles F. Gunckel, F. P. Loehr and J. M. 
Loehr, the object being to carry on a brokerage business under the 
firm style of Gunckel, Loehr & Co. This style continued until 
1872, when the firm merged into the Merchants National bank, an 
institution which had an original capital of $50,000, Mr. Gunckel 
becoming president and F. P. Loehr, cashier. Mr. Gunckel re- 
mained as the president until 1891, when he disposed of his holdings 
to Paul J. Sorg, who was made president, and who faithfully, hon- 
orably and efificiently discharged the duties of that ofifice until his 
death, in May, 1902. At that time Mr. Sorg's son, Paul A. Sorg, was 
chosen president, and held that ofifice until his death, when he was 
succeeded by the present incumbent, John W. Boyd, a man of known 
ability and prestige in banking circles of Ohio. The institution 
was rechartered by the United States Government in 1912 and 
October 1, 1919, this institution was merged with the First National 
bank of Middletown, and is now known as the First and Merchants 
National bank of Middletown. 

Elmer M. Fisher. Included among the successful and well- 
known farmers of Butler county is found Elmer M. Fisher, who has 
passed his entire life within the confines of the county and has 
found success and contentment in engaging in the pursuits of the 
soil. He belongs to the progressive element of the younger genera- 
tion, is modern in his ideas, and in his citizenship is constructive. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 217 

always being in favor of those movements which promise to advance 
his locality. Mr. Fisher was born at Blue Ball; Butler county, Ohio, 
December 28, 1879, a son of James H. Fisher. His father was born 
at Seven Mile, this county, in 1839, and grew up in that community, 
where he attended the home schools. As a young man he moved to 
Blue Ball, where he married Emma, daughter of Jeremiah and Mary 
(Bond) Squires, natives of New Jersey. Mr. Squires was a black- 
smith by trade and conducted a shop at Blue Ball, where his death 
occurred in 1861, while his widow survived him until 1890. They 
were members of the Presbyterian church and people well and fav- 
orably known in their community during their day. They were the 
parents of four children : Charlotte, deceased, who was the wife of 
the late Joseph Smith ; Emma, who became Mrs. Fisher ; Edward, a 
blacksmith at Blue Ball, who succeeded to his father's business ; 
and Belle, the wife of Alonzo Wolf, of Topeka, Kans. After their 
marriage, James H. Fisher and his wife located at Blue Ball, where 
Mr. Fisher engaged in blacksmithing, and for some time was asso- 
ciated in business with his father-in-law. He was highly esteemed 
in his community as a man of integrity and a good citizen, and left 
behind many friends at the time of his death in 1900. He was a 
strong Democrat in his political adherence, and he and Mrs. Fisher 
were devout members of the Presbyterian church, to the various 
movements of which they were generous donators. They had four 
children, as follows : Etta, who is the wife of Erastus Stewart, of 
Middletown ; Charles, who married Mary Bond, educated at Leban- 
on, Ohio, taught schools for several years, successfully passed a civil 
service examination, and went to Topeka, Kans., in the employ of 
the Santa Fe railway, being subsequently called to Washington, D. 
C, where he has resided for the past twenty years ; Aaron L., of 
Miamisburg, Ohio, who married Alice Cunningham, of Virginia ; 
and Elmer M., of this notice. Elmer M. Fisher attended the home 
schools during the winter months in boyhood while assisting his 
father in the work of blacksmithing during the summers. He grew 
up as a farmer and at the time of attaining his majority entered upon 
his career as an agriculturist, a vocation which he has followed with 
success ever since. Mr. Fisher was married November 16, 1900. to 
Allie May, daughter of Fielding G. and Catherine (Myers) Tullis, 
of Lemon township. A review of the Tullis family will be found in 
the sketch of Fielding G. Tullis, elsewhere in this work. Mr. and 
Mrs. Fisher are the parents of one son, Paul A., born at Blue Ball, 
March 12, 1899. Following his marriage, Mr. Fisher spent about 
ten years on different farms in Lemon township, but eventually 
settled on his present property, which he purchased. This sixty- 
five acre tract was the old Peter Shultz farm, and upon it Mr. Fisher 
has made numerous valuable improvements. He has remodeled 
the house, installing a Delco lighting system, built a substantial 
garage and in other ways given evidence of his progressive spirit and 
enterprise. At this time he has forty-five acres under cultivation, 
and upon it raises considerable tobacco, in addition to doing general 
farming. He also has some dairy stock, and in all departments of 
his work has made a marked success, owing to his industry and his 



218 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

thorough knowledge of the occupation to which he has devoted his 
life's energies. He is essentially a self-made man, having worked 
his own way to his present position, is a thorough student of his 
calling, and is progressive in his every move. He has taken an in- 
terest in civic affairs for some years, and has served as school direc- 
tor. His political support is given to the Democratic party. 

John Watts Fisher. Steady application to the development of 
his abilities along a single line has brought about the success of John 
Watts Fisher, who has long been connected with the American Roll- 
ing mill, at Middletown. He is of English ancestry, and from fore- 
fathers who often worked under discouraging conditions inherits an 
obliging nature and keen sense of humor which lubricates his work- 
ing wheels and brings him in touch with the pleasures, as well as 
profits, of existence. Mr. Fisher was born in England, May 12, 
1868, a son of Daniel and Tabitha (Watts) Fisher. He was one and 
one-half years of age when he came to the United States with his 
parents who located at Niles, Ohio, January 4, 1870, his mother 
dying there not long afterward, June 6, 1870. His father still sur- 
vives as a resident of Middletown. John W. Fisher attended the 
public schools of Niles, Ohio, and in 1883 went to Martin's Ferry, 
where he began work in the rolling mill at that place. In March, 
1901, he first came to Middletown, but after a few years removed to 
Steubenville and continued until 1911, then returning to Middletown 
to take his present position as a roller with the American Rolling 
Mill company. He is a skilled and trustworthy workman, pos- 
sessed of much capacity for close application to his duties, and is 
therefore valued highly by the company of which he is a representa- 
tive. At Cincinnati, Ohio, September 26, 1901, Mr. Fisher married 
Clara Price, who was born December 25, 1879, a daughter of Ed- 
ward and Sarah (Ball) Price. Her father died December 28, 1892, at 
Cincinnati, while her mother still lives and is a resident of Middle- 
town. There were five children in the Price family : Mary, a resi- 
dent of Middletown ; Will R., also of this city ; George, of Steuben- 
ville, Ohio; Clara, now Mrs. Fisher; and Ruth, who died January 
27, 1910. Both Mr. and Mrs. Fisher were devotedly attached to Mrs. 
Fisher's sister, Ruth, a beautiful and accomplished young lady, 
whom they took into their home at Steubenville and did everything 
that loving care could do to restore her to health. To the union of 
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher there have come four children : Ethel Mar- 
guerite, who was born July 24, 1902 ; Mildred, who was born July 
7, 1904; Edwin, who was born June 24, 1907; and John, jr., born No- 
vember 3, 1910. All of the children display marked musical talent 
and are being encouraged to develop their abilities in this direction. 
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher are consistent members of the Methodist 
church, and support its movements, Mrs. Fisher being particularly 
active in religious and charitable work. She is also prominent in 
lodge affairs at Middetown, where she was first worthy matron of 
Prosser Chapter, of the Order of the Eastern Star, an office which 
she held two years. She continues to display an interest in fraternal 
work, and at present is secretary of her chapter, in which she has a 
wide circle of friends. Mr. Fisher is a Mason and a member of the 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 219 

Elks, and also belongs to the Amalgamated Association of Iron 
Workers. His political adherence is with the Republican party. 
In 1916 Mr. Fisher built an attractive home in Middletown, 
the doors of which are hospitably open at all times to the many 
friend? of the family. 

James Fitton. Among the old and honored residents of the 
Miami valley, and especially among those who are natives of this 
region, few are better known or more highly esteemed than is James 
Fitton, secretary of the People's Deposit, Improvement and Loan 
company, a building and loan association of Hamilton. Although a. 
man of intense American spirit, and himself a veteran of the Civil 
war in which he and others of his family rendered signal service to 
the country, some of the admirable traits which mark his character 
and have made him one of the most prominent" and useful citizens 
of his locality, are doubtless traceable to the proverbially sturdy, 
vigorous and enterprising English ancestry from which he is des- 
cended. Mr. Fitton was born at West Charleston, Montgomery 
county, Ohio, April 5, 1843, a son of James and Hannah B. (Fitton) 
Fitton. James Fitton the elder was born in England, and, with his 
brothers William and Samuel, came to the United States in young 
manhood. Hearing of a wagon manufacturer of Cincinnati named 
Fitton, who was also from England, the brothers made their way to 
that city, where James Fitton secured employment with his name- 
sake and learned the wagon making trade. There, also, he met the 
daughter of his employer, Hannah B. Fitton, and they were subse- 
quently married. Of the brothers, Samuel remained in Cincinnati, 
where his death occurred, while William, after a short stay at 
Charleston, went to Dayton, and there his death occurred. On 
leaving Cincinnati, James Fitton the elder located at West Charles- 
ton, where he and his brother were for a time the proprietors of a 
store, but William Fitton disposed of his interest therein later, and 
in April, 1844, James Fitton removed to Hamilton, where he started 
a wagon making industry on the present site of the Third Ward 
school building. He continued to be connected with this enterprise 
during the remainder of his life, dying suddenly in 1846 when he had 
before him an exceptionally bright business future, being possessed 
in marked degree of the qualities that combine to make for success 
and commercial prestige. He and his wife were the parents of the 
following children : William, deceased, who lived at Piqua. mar- 
ried Nancy Van Vacter, who survived him as a resident of Hamil- 
ton ; Thomas, deceased, who was a banker and merchant of Hamil- 
ton, married Lida Brant ; Hannah, deceased, who was the wife of 
W. T. Crawford ; D. W., deceased, who was a member of the 167th 
Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served in West Virginia 
during the Civil war; Samuel D., a banker of Hamilton, now and 
for years president of First National, who married Mary Falconer ; 
Mary, deceased, who was the wife of S. C. Belden, of Hamilton ; 
Frances, deceased, who was the wife of J. P. Peck, a banker and real 
estate operator, both dying in California ; Rachael, deceased ; and 
James, of this notice. James Fitton the younger was educated in 
the private school of Nathaniel Furman, and upon completing his 



220 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

studies in 1857 secured a position as clerk in the grocery of W. C. 
Millspaugh, on High street, Hamilton. Next, he turned his atten- 
tion to the broom making industry and was thus employed when 
the Civil war broke out. Answering the call for volunteers, he en- 
listed in the 35th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company C, under Capt. 
John S. Earhart and Col. Ferdinand Van Diver. This regiment, 
composed of Butler, Preble, Montgomery and Warren county men, 
left September 26, 1861, for Paris, Ky., where the regiment was 
divided, and Mr. Fitton went with a part of his company to Kaiser's 
station. In January, 1862, the regiment was joined by the 18th 
Regulars, the 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the 2d Minnesota 
Infantry, this being General Thomas' first brigade. After taking 
part in the Mill Creek fight, Mr. Fitton was invalided home with 
typhoid fever, but rejoined his regiment in the following April at 
Pittsburg Landing, and subsequently participated in the Siege of 
Corinth and after the taking of Corinth the Regiment, with others, 
marched back all the way to Louisville, Ky., and later in the en- 
gagement at Perryville, where Bragg's troops were encountered. 
After service at Louisville, the Regiment marched south, fought at 
Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, and in the following November 
went into action at Missionary Ridge. Subsequently Mr. Fitton 
saw hard fighting through Georgia, including the Siege of Atlanta, 
and owing to the expiration of the three years' enlistment mostallthe 
regiment were honorably discharged while on their way to Cincinnati 
by steamboat. In the absence of the Sergeant-Major on recruiting 
service, James Fitton was appointed to fill that position inst alter 
the capture of Missionary Ridge. He was then ordered to Chatta- 
nooga, and later to Nashville and Louisville and Cincinnati, with 
Captain Kyle and Lieutenant Miller, and at the latter place pur- 
chased civilian clothes, and arrived at Hamilton, in September, 1864. 
After a short visit at his brother's hat store he returned to his 
mother's home. The brave young soldier became bookkeeper, in 
April, 1865, in the Cincinnati commission houses of Fox-Wardlow 
company, a position which he retained one year, and for three years 
following was with the Schlosser-Beck company. Coming then to 
Hamilton, he associated himself with his brother, D. W. Fitton, in 
the dry goods business at Third and High streets, but disposed of 
his interests therein in 1883. In 1883 he had engaged in the insur- 
ance and real estate business, and continued in this line with suc- 
cess until 1893, when he entered the Building Association employ- 
ment and became on March 27, 1893, the secretary of The People's 
Deposit, Improvement and Loan company, a position which he has 
since held. His offices are located at No. 205 Rentschler building, 
and he has various other business interests, being one of the prom- 
inent figures in the business and financial life of the city. His home 
he makes in his own flat building, at Dayton and Tenth streets. Mr. 
Fitton is a popular comrade of Wetzel Compton Post, G. A. R. He 
is a liberal contributor to the Methodist Episcopal church, in which 
he holds membership, and was formerly a Sunday school teacher 
superintendent and a leader in the choir for many years. In his 
earlier years he indulged his fondness for travel, and in 1871 toured 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 221 

England and the continent of Europe. In 1877, because of ill health, 
he again went to Europe, accompanied by his wife, and spent seven 
months mostly at Geneva, Switzerland, and in 1909 he and Mrs. 
Fitton visited Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and had 
two lovely views of the Sun at Midnight. In 1867 Mr. Fitton mar- 
ried Minnie, daughter of Freeman Flanders, of Richmond, Ind., and 
to this union there was born one child : Mabel. She married Rev. 
Samuel A. Stephan, minister of Lindenwald Methodist Episcopal 
church and now of the West Park Avenue Methodist Episcopal 
church of Columbus, Ohio, and they are the parents of one son : 
James Fitton Stephan. Mr. Fitton's second marriage occurred in 
1873, when he was united with Katherine, daughter of Jacob Shank 
of Butler county. She died in May, 1915, having borne two children, 
both of whom died in infancy. At this date (1919) James Fitton is 
apparently in excellent health and quite active. 

Samuel Dustin Fitton, president of the First National bank died 
at 10:40 on the morning of Saturday, December 6, 1920, at his home 
on North Third street, after an illness of three weeks. Mr. Fitton 
had not been in robust health for several years, but there were no 
indications that he was facing a fatal illness, even when stricken. 
It was not until his illness had continued for almost two weeks that 
there were serious indications that it would terminate fatally. The 
funeral of Mr. Fitton was held at the family home on Monday morn- 
ing, December 8, Dr. Charles E. Schenk, of Cincinnati, a former 
pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church and a personal 
friend of Mr. Fitton conducting the services, which were largely 
attended. These services were simple but deeply impressive. The 
burial took place in Greenwood cemetery. One of the greatest am- 
bitions of Mr. Fitton was to leave to Hamilton as a monument to 
himself and the bank over which he presided so successfully for so 
many years, a handsome bank building. Plans for the erection of 
this building were well under way at the time Mr. Fitton was fatally 
stricken. It is believed now that the directors of the bank will pro- 
ceed in the erection of this structure as a monument to their faith- 
ful president. 

Val Fitzgerald. There are few men who can have the privilege 
of a pleasant lifetime in one community. Such has been the fortune 
of Mr. Fitzgerald. He was born in Liberty township in 1863, that 
year when success was most remote from the northern arms. His 
parents. Prior and Catherine Fitzgerald, were both natives of Butler 
county; the former having been born in 1810, rounding out four- 
score years of a useful life in this same county ; the latter, born in 
1823, died at the age of 79. Prior Fitzgerald was a well-known 
farmer and trader and was one of those hardy pioneers to whom our 
country owes so much. His family comprised five children : Taylor, 
Emma, Bruce, Charles and Val, the subject of this sketch. To the 
public schools of Butler county he is indebted for the elements of 
knowledge which afterwards he developed into the science of farm- 
ing, buying, after his mother's death, in 1902, the old homestead 
shrined in the memories of his youth and early manhood. The farm 
totals ninety-seven acres, every acre of which is developed to the 



222 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

highest degree of productivity under the able management of father 
and son. To some extent he occupies himself with stock raising 
but for the most part does general farming with marked success. 
He is a Democrat and fraternally allied to the Knights of Pythias, 
being a member of the Middletown Lodge of that order. He is deep- 
ly interested in the activities of that organization and has progres- 
sively filled every lodge office, finally attaining to the signal honor 
of delegate to the Grand Lodge at Columbus and Dayton. In 1891, 
Mr. Fitzgerald was united in marriage with Ella, daughter of John 
and Mary (Sheeley) Green of whom mention is made elsewhere in 
the sketch of Val L. Green which appears in this work. One child 
was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald but it died in infancy. 

Frank H. Flenner. A number of the progressive agriculturists 
of Butler county are recognizing the profits to be realized from in- 
telligent specialization along certain lines of agricultural work, and 
one who has met with success in this direction is Frank H. Fenner, 
of St. Clair township. While what would be generally termed a 
general farmer, Mr. Flenner has given particular attention to melon 
growing, and another important department in his work is the rais- 
mg of several kinds of live stock. Mr. Flenner was born at Darr- 
town, Butler county, Ohio, February 13, 1862, and belongs to one of 
the old and highly respected families of this community. It was 
largely a matter of chance that brought the Flenner family to St. 
Clair township. At an early date in the history of Butler county, 
Daniel Flenner, the grandfather of Frank H., a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, left that state with his brothers, Solomon and John, and 
floated down the Ohio river in search of a suitable location upon 
which to settle and make a home. With them they brought several 
horses, and when the boat was anchored opposite the present site 
of Cincinnati, the horses managed to get loose, and wandered off 
into the woods. Daniel Flenner, while searching for them, became 
struck with the possibilities of the country hereabouts, and accord- 
ingly entered land, built a log cabin in the woods, and settled down 
to the task of clearing and cultivating a farm from the dense timber. 
He subsequently built a home on Locust Hill, near Woodsdale, and 
continued clearing his land, and at one time was the owner of 1,000 
acres. In his later years he went to near Westfield, Edgar county, 
111., where he secured land, built a brick house and other buildings, 
and continued to farm until his death in 1858. He was the father of 
eight children: Adam, who was born in Pennsylvania; Isaac, who 
was a farmer in Illinois, where he died; Robert, a railroad conductor 
who met his death in a wreck at Connersville, Ind. ; and Harriet, 
Lizzie, Mary, Lannie and Peggy, who all died in Illinois. Adam 
Flenner, the father of Frank H., had only a limited education in his 
youth and grew to manhood in Illinois. Later he moved to the vicin- 
ity of Darrtown, Butler county, where he resided for fifteen years, 
at the end of which time he bought a part of the old homestead of 
137 acres and continued to cultivate it until his death in 1899, at the 
age of eighty-six years. He was a Democratic voter, and a man of 
some influence in his community, where he served as township 
trustee. His first wife was a Miss Wehr, and they had six children : 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 223 

Chambers, deceased ; Nathan, a retired farmer making his home at 
Darrtown ; Louis, deceased ; Harriet, who resides at Darrtown ; 
Lavanda, the widow of John Clements, of Hamilton, Ohio ; and 
Catherine, deceased, who was the wife of CorneHus Irvin, of Darr- 
town. Mr. Flenner was married the second time, to Ann Hemrich, 
who was born at Baltimore, Md., daughter of George Hemrich, who 
came to Ohio about 1845. Mrs. Flenner died in 1907, at the age of 
seventy-five years. She and Mr. Flenner were the parents of five 
children : Ollie, who was killed at the Big Four railroad crossing in 
1878; Frank H. ; James, who is engaged in the threshing business at 
Trenton, Ohio; Belle, the wife of George Cook, of Westchester, 
Ohio ; and Lizzie, the wife of James Weher, of Overpeck, Ohio. 
Frank H. Flenner attended school at Woodsdale and grew up on the 
home farm, where he has always made his home. In 1900 he pur- 
chased ninety-one acres of the homestead, and in the same commu- 
nity is operating 209 acres which he rents. He is raising Chester 
White hogs, mixed cattle and draft horses, carries on farming in a 
general way, and specializes in the raising of melons, selling the 
greater part of his product at Middletown. Mr. Flenner and his 
family have been well known in the county during the past twenty 
years. He is accounted a man of sterling integrity and a good busi- 
ness man, and as a citizen has always displayed his public spirit. 
He votes the Democratic ticket and is a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. In November, 1884, Mr. Flenner married Sarah 
B., daughter of Lewis Boswell, formerly of Cincinnati, but later a 
horse dealer of St. Clair township. To Mr. and Mrs. Flenner there 
have been born three children : Stella, who died March 24, 1913, was 
the wife of Lewis Rupp, a farmer of St. Clair township ; Nellie, the 
wife of John Rupp, a farmer of the same community, with one son, 
Carl Edward; and Frank, jr., who assists his father. 

Merle Flenner, M. D. One of the most genial, cultured and 
thoroughly learned physicians of the Butler county medical fra- 
ternity. Dr. Merle Flenner has for a number of years been engaged 
in a large, lucrative and growing practice, embracing all depart- 
ments of his profession, at Hamilton. He is a native of this city, 
and was born in 1878, a son of Granville M. and Anna (Rust) Flen- 
ner. His father, a native of Butler county, was engaged in the hard- 
ware business at Hamilton until 1885, when he removed to Peoria, 
111., where his wife died December, 1918, and after her death he re- 
turned to Hamilton where he makes his home with his son Merle. 
There were six children in the family : Edith, John, Granville M., jr., 
Caroline, Merle and Neil. Merle Flenner completed his high school 
education at Peoria, 111., following which he entered the Miami Med- 
ical college, at Cincinnati, Ohio, with the class of 1898. He received 
his medical degree in 1903, and in the meantime spent one year in 
Paris, where he visited the Paris exposition and also improved his 
time by attending various clinics in the great metropolis. On his 
return, and after his graduation from college, he served as interne 
in the city hospital, Cincinnati, for one and one-half years, and in 
January, 1905, located at Hamilton, where he has been engaged in 
general practice. On several occasions he has attended the Mayo 



224 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

clinics, and has been a constant student, and is a valued and inter- 
ested member of the various organizations of his calling. He be- 
longs to the Alpha Kappa Kappa fraternity. A consistent member 
of the Methodist Episcopal church, he has served as the president 
of the Epworth League. His political affiliation is with the Repub- 
lican party. Doctor Flenner married Adrienne, daughter of George 
F. and Katherine Nosier, and to this union there have been born two 
children : Anna Katherine and George Granville. The family home 
is the center of an intellectual and cultured social circle, and such 
home surroundings and influences are largely responsible for that 
broad outlook and mental vigor which Doctor Flenner evinces in 
his professional labors, and which have lifted him above the plane 
of the average metropolitan practitioner. 

Sol Flenner. Among the well-known retired citizens of Trenton 
whose industry, energy and good management have placed them in 
comfortable circumstances and gained for them a reputable stand- 
ing among their townsmen, is Sol Flenner. For many years he was 
identified with prosperous business enterprises at Hamilton, where 
he established an unassailable reputation for probity and integrity, 
and when he retired from active affairs it was with the friendship 
and respect of those who had been his competitors as well as of his 
associates. Mr. Flenner was born at Westfield, 111., July 24, 1858, a 
son of William and Laney Flenner. His father was born at Flen- 
ner's Corners, Butler county, Ohio, and his mother on a farm in St. 
Clair township, in the same county. The Flenner family is one of 
the old and honored ones of this county, where for many years its 
members have been largely devoted to agricultural pursuits, al- 
though the professions, business and politics have also benefited by 
their activities. William Flenner was educated in the common 
schools and as a young man took up farming as his vocation, but in 
1855 went to Illinois, where during the three years of his residence 
he was the operator and owner of a sawmill. Returning to Butler 
county he had a sawmill for five years on the present site of the 
plant of Hoover, Owens & Rentschler, and then engaged in farming 
at Flenner's Corners. Again returning to Hamilton, he continued 
as a resident of that city for thirty years, and was engaged in a va- 
riety of pursuits. He and Mrs. Flenner were faithful members of 
the United Brethren church, and were the parents of four sons: 
Charles, an engineer of Hamilton ; Daniel, who met an accidental 
death in 1894, leaving a widow, who had been Miss Effie Dick ; Sol ; 
and William. Sol Flenner was given his educational training in the 
public school at Flenner's Corners, and at the outset of his career 
thoroughly assimilated all the knowledge available as to proper 
methods of agriculture and the operation of mills. Eventually, 
when he left his father's association, he embarked in a sawmilling 
business at Millville, and continued therein ten years. From this 
line of activity he turned his attention to the manufacture of mat- 
tresses and spring beds, at Hamilton, being for ten years located in 
an establishment at Seventh and Walnut streets. During his career 
he also operated a threshing outfit for ten years, all over the coun- 
ty, and spent a like period as the proprietor at Hamilton of a liverv 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 225 

stable, which stood on the present site of the Y. M. C. A. building. 
During all this time Mr. Flenner had maintained his high reputation 
as a man thoroughly skilled in the knowledge of matters pertaining 
to the cultivation and proper treatment of the soil, as well as a man 
of fine abilities of a business and executive character, and in March, 
1915, his associates expressed their confidence in his capacity and 
ability by electing him director of the Butler County Agricultural 
association, a position which he still retains, and in which he has 
made a splendid record for accomplishment and constructive work. 
Mr. Flener was married in December, 1895, to Louisa Schantz, of 
Madison township, Butler county, a daughter of Joseph and Cath- 
erine (Augsperger) Schantz, farming people, the former a native of 
Wayne county, Ohio, and the latter of Trenton and deceased. Of 
the eight children of Mr. and Mrs. Schantz, six are living : Frank, 
deceased, who married Nora McKeown, and have one son, Horace, 
his widow being now the wife of E. C. Seimer; Louisa, who became 
the wife of Mr. Flenner ; Amelia, who died at the age of forty years, 
as the wife of R. F. Scudder ; Reuben, engaged in the manufacture 
of mattresses at Hamilton ; Christian W., a manufacturer of felt 
goods, etc., at Hamilton ; Mary, the wife of C. H. Heller, of Detroit, 
Mich. ; Herman, salesman of Trenton ; and Owen, a salesman travel- 
ing out of Hamilton. Mr. and Mrs. Flenner are fond of travel and 
believers in its broadening influences, and have visited many parts 
of theii native land, in addition to which, in 1908, they made an ex- 
'^S3J3iui JO sjuiod 9q; jjb paAvaiA /aqj ajaqAv 'adoJUTf jo jno:^ 3msu9:) 
during 'he several months of their stay. They are consistent mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian church at Hamilton, in which Mr. Flenner 
has l>een an elder for many years. He is a Republican in his political 
views. 

Alfred L. Foreman. Any list enumerating the constructive citi- 
zens of College Corner would be decidedly incomplete that did not 
include the name of Alfred L. Foreman. Since taking up his resi- 
dence in this live and growing little city, he has contributed material- 
ly to its progress and development in various ways, principally 
through his services in ofifices of public importance, and at present 
is serving in the capacity of postmaster. Mr. Foreman was born at 
Oxfrod, Ohio, February 15, 1857, a son of Samuel and Mary 
(Lemons) Foreman, the former a native of Oxford township, But- 
ler county, Ohio, and the latter of Cumminsville, this state. The 
father, who was possessed of a public school education, followed 
agricultural pursuits throughout his life in Oxford township, where 
he died in 1902 at the age of seventy-seven years, and also took an 
active part in Democratic politics. Mrs. Foreman died in 1911, at 
the age of seventy-seven years, in the faith of the Methodist church, 
of which she had been a lifelong member. They were the parents 
of five children : Alfred L., of this notice ; Jennie, who is deceased ; 
Nettie, the wife of L. W. Mason, of Oxford; C. J., connected with 
the firm of Strauss & company, at Hamilton, Ohio ; and one who died 
in infancy. Alfred L. Foreman attended the public schools of Ox- 
ford, and in 1880 took up farming on the old home place in Oxford 
township, which he operated for five years. He then moved to the 



226 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

William Greer farm in the same township, and continued as a tiller 
of the soil for eight years, at the end of which time he took up his 
residence at College Corner and established himself in the livery 
business, which he followed for four years. This was succeeded by 
active participation in the grocery business until 1916, when he was 
appointed postmaster of College Corner by President Wilson, a po- 
sition which he has since filled to the entire satisfaction of the peo- 
ple of the community. Mr. Foreman became interested in public 
affairs while still living on the farm, and for six years served as a 
member of the board of trustees of Oxford township. Since coming 
to College Corner he has served as a member of the school board and 
in the village council, and may be termed as one of the fathers of his 
village, as he assisted in having College Corner incorporated. He 
has been variously occupied otherwise in working for beneficial 
measures. Politically, Mr. Foreman is a stalwart Democrat. July 
4, 1879, Mr. Foreman married Jennie Murphy, of Oxford township, 
and they became the parents of three children : Pearl, who died 
September 21, 1917, as the wife of C. K. Miller, of College Corner, 
leaving two children, Mildred and Donald ; Harry, oi College Corner, 
who married Sina Earhart and has one son, Harry Lewis ; and Floy, 
who married Raymond Bake, of Hamilton, and has three children, 
Carl W., Sterling and Eugene. All the members of the family be- 
long to the College Corner Methodist Episcopal church. 

Robert Frazee has been identified with the interests of Butler 
county for more than three-score-and-ten years and has contributed 
to its material progress and prosperity to an extent surpassed by 
but few of his contemporaries, and up to within several years ago 
one of the large landholders of the county. Mr. Frazee was born in 
Milford township, Butler county, Ohio, November 26, 1848, a son of 
Squire Frazee, the latter born near Carthage, Hamilton county, a 
son of Maxwell Frazee, of New Jersey. Maxwell Frazee married 
Lydia Bunnell, who was born in 1790, and who was but one year old 
when taken by her parents to the present site of Cincinnati, a com- 
munity then known as Columbia. For a number of years the grand- 
parents resided on a farm two and one-half miles west of Somer- 
ville, where the grandfather died in 1855 and the grandmother in 
1879 at the age of eighty-nine years. They had five children : Caleb, • 
who went to Indiana, where he died; Squire, the father of Robert; 
Edwin, who was a farmer of Milford township ; Jane, the wife of 
Cyrus Wilburton, of Parke county, Ind. ; and Sarah, who married 
Benjamin P. Kennedy, of Rush county, Ind. Squire Frazee was 
educated in the home schools, and practically his entire life was 
passed on the farm in Milford township, two and one-half miles 
west of Somerville. He was an industrious man and skilled farmer, 
made a success of his undertakings, and died in comfortable circum- 
stances. He was a staunch Democrat and he and his wife were 
Universalists. She bore the maiden name of Mary Irvin, and they 
were the parents of four children : Sarah, deceased, who was the 
wife of the late A. J. Kennedy ; Annie, deceased, who was the wife 
of the late Wilson Kennedy ; Robert, and Lewis B., a retired farmer 
of Camden, Ohio. Robert Frazee was educated in the home schools 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 227 

of Milford township, and remained under the roof of his parents 
until his marriage, August 27, 1874, to Mary, daughter of James M. 
and Sylvia Ann (Antrim) Young, the latter a daughter of John An- 
trim. Mr. Young was a farmer all of his life and a Republican in 
politics, and he and Mrs. Young were members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. His death occurred in April, 1914, when he was 
eighty-one years of age, while Mrs. Young passed away February 
12, 1894, at the age of fifty-nine years. They were the parents of 
four daughters : Alice, the widow of John Shaffer, of Seven Mile ; 
Mrs. Frazee; Lulu, the wife of David McCune, of Miami, Fla. ; and 
Eva, who married John Dufifield, of Somerville, Ohio. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Frazee there have been born two daughters : Sadie, the wife 
of G. H. Oren, a merchant of Somerville ; and Edith, the wife of 
John C. Barnett, postmaster and a merchant at Seven Mile. Dur- 
ing the entire period of his active career Mr. Frazee had been a 
farmer, but in December, 1906, retired from active pursuits and 
moved to Somerville, where he has a pleasant home. He owned and 
rented his farm property until 1917, in which year he disposed of his 
148 acres. He has never been an office seeker, and his only connec- 
tion with politics has been as a Democratic voter. With his family, 
he belongs to the Presbyterian church. As a good citizen and a man 
of marked integrity and probity, he is held in high esteem and respect 
in his community. 

Carl and Arthur Frechtling. Among the business enterprises of 
Hamilton which have grown and developed under the stimulating 
influence of the progressiveness and vigorous activity of their own- 
ers, one which has had a particularly successful career is the dairy 
establishment of Frechtling Brothers, located on South Front street. 
Founded in 1906, it has advanced and prospered, until today it is a 
$50,000 concern and considered one of the city's valuable commercial 
adjuncts. Carl and Arthur Frechtling, the proprietors of this busi- 
ness, are natives of Hamilton, and sons of George and Mary (Rich- 
ter) Frechtling, also both born at Hamilton, Mrs. Frechtling's 
birthplace being at 545 South Front street, the present location of 
the dairy business. George Frechtling was educated in the Hamil- 
ton graded schools, grew to manhood in this city, and was here mar- 
ried when but twenty-three years of age. From the time he was 
twenty years old until he was twenty-six, he was identified with the 
Deinzer & Stevens company, of Hamilton, after which he and his 
wife went to Shelbyville, Ind. There Mr. Frechtling engaged in 
the lumber business by the organization of the Bentwood factory 
and sawmill, a venture with which he continued to be connected un- 
til the time of his death at the early age of twenty-seven years, in an 
accident on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad at Glendale, Ohio. Doubt- 
less had he not been called in death at such an early age, Mr. Frecht- 
ling would have become a very prosperous man, as he had already, 
even at the time of his demise, established himself in a paying busi- 
ness with every opportunity for fortune ahead. Both Carl and 
Arthur Frechtling graduated from the graded and high schools at 
Hamilton, following which Arthur went to the Ohio State univer- 
sity at Columbus, Ohio, where he took a course in mechanical en- 



228 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

gineering. Carl went to Purdue university, later to the Iowa State 
college, at Ames, Iowa, and finally to the University at Madison, 
Wisconsin. Upon completing his education Carl Frechtling went to 
Rochester, N. Y., where he became associated with the Brighton 
Place Dairy company in the capacity of manager. After being with 
this concern for two years, he was called home to Hamilton, be- 
cause of the fire which destroyed the Mehrum building, in which 
he and his brother owned a half interest, their loss through this con- 
flagration amounting to $40,000. Carl decided to remain at Hamil- 
ton where, April 1, 1906, he established the dairy business of Frecht- 
ling Brothers, his brother Arthur at that time becoming a silent 
partner. This is now, as noted, a $50,000 establishment, with a daily 
output of 4,000 gallons of milk. In February, 1918, Carl Frechtling 
married Glenna Bevington, who was born at Brookville, Ind., but 
educated at Hamilton, where she has passed the greater part of her 
life. They have one son, Jimmie, and reside in their comfortable 
and attractive home at No. 484 Ridgelawn avenue. Mr. Frechtling 
is a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks and of the Sigma Nu college fraternity. Arthur 
Frechtling, following his graduation from the Ohio State university 
as a mechanical engineer, took a position in that capacity with the 
Union Pacific railway at Cheyenne, Wyo., and remained with that 
corporation for two years. He then accepted a position with a fac- 
tory at Portland, Me., as superintendent, but after two years trans- 
ferred his services to the Fairbanks Morse Scale company, for whom 
he was traveling representative in the states of Kentucky and Ohio, 
but was later transferred to the office at Tacoma, Wash. In 1908 
he was married to Amanda Oetterer, of Hamilton, and in 1909 gave 
up his position at Tacoma and returned to Hamilton to engage ac- 
tively in business in partnership with his brother, Carl. He and his 
wife are the parents of two children, namely: Walton Herrman, 
born in 1913 ; and Arthur Carl, born in 1916. Mr. Frechtling is a 
Knight Templar Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, and also 
holds membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 
Charles Frederick. Liberty township, Butler county, Ohio, is 
noted for the large number of beautiful homes owned and occupied 
by farmers and it is not amiss to say that Charles Frederick, a prom- 
inent young farmer of Liberty township, Ohio, has one of the most 
modern and attractive homes in that section. A native of Liberty 
township, he was born November 11, 1876, the younger of two sons 
of John and Philomena (Smith) Frederick, the other boy. Otto, hav- 
ing met death in a runaway accident. The father was a native of 
Germany, but came to the United States at the age of fourteen years, 
locating in Butler county. His first employment was as a farm hand 
and after following this a number of years he engaged in the grain 
business at Lesourdsville, Butler county. He was successful in this 
venture and continued in the business several years, but in the mean- 
time he had acquired about 850 acres of farm land which was the 
most fertile and promising in that community and when he passed 
away he was known as one of the large land holders of Butler coun- 
ty and was revered as a citizen whose residence in that community 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 229 

had been for the best interests of all. His rise to eminence as an 
agriculturist was all the more enviable because of the fact that he 
started life as a poor boy who had come to Ohio from Germany 
without the backing of influential parents, his principal assets being 
willing hands and an honest heart. His wife, who was a native of 
Butler county, was a woman of noble traits of character. Charles 
Frederick received his education in Liberty township and attended 
high school at Hamilton, Ohio. After leaving school he worked 
with his father until the latter's death, when he personally took over 
the farm properties and managed same successfully, and it may be 
truthfully said that each year since he has been directing the affairs 
of his property the total crop returns have shown a decided increase. 
In 1899 he married Miss Addie Clawson, daughter of Wilson and 
Harriet Clawson. Two children have been born to them : Hugh C. 
and Donald Sherwood. The father of Mrs. Frederick bears the dis- 
tinction of being the oldest living settler in Liberty township. In 
his younger days he was one of the energetic and useful men of the 
community and age alone has cut short his activity. 

Fred Fries. The career of the late Fred Fries is a part of the 
yesterday of Hamilton, but his substantial commercial efforts are 
constantly brought to mind by the presence of the business which 
he founded thirty-seven years ago at No. 123-125-127 S. Third street, 
and which is now being conducted by his honored widow and worthy 
sons. Mr. Fries was one of the pioneer business men of Hamilton 
who laid broad and deep the foundations for business success, build- 
ing substantially on a policy of honesty and upright dealing, and 
throughout his long residence at Hamilton was one of his commu- 
nity's best and most helpful citizens, his death, which occurred Sep- 
tember 22, 1911, removing a force for progress and honorable ad- 
vancement which had done much to add to Hamilton's commercial 
prestige. Fred Fries was distinctively a self-made man. Born in 
Germany, May 15, 1855, he was a lad of fourteen years, with a com- 
mon school education, when he came to the United States, and for 
one and one-half years worked at the cooper trade in New York 
City. When he was sixteen years old he came to Hamilton and 
went to work for his uncle in the grocery business, so continuing 
until he was twenty-six years old. At that time, in partnership with 
Mr. Bobmeyer, he purchased his uncle's business, and the firm of 
Fries & Bobmeyer continued in association for two years, when the 
senior partner became sole proprietor, and added to the grocery a 
meat market and feed store, the combined business being located, as 
today, at 123-125-127 S. Third street. Possessed of a shrewd busi- 
ness ability, his investments almost invariably resulted in gain, and 
his energy converted a modest enterprise into one of large propor- 
tions, and this in spite of the fact that in his early years in the ac- 
quirement of an education he had been confronted with many obsta- 
cles, chief among which was the necessity for personal maintenance. 
A man of the strictest integrity he always held the unqualified con- 
fidence of the public and of his business associates, while his per- 
sonal character was such as to be beyond reproach. He was a faith- 
ful member of the Catholic church and held membership in the 



230 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Catholic Knights of America and the Catholic Knights of Ohio. In 
1882 Mr. Fries married Barbara Schatt, who was born at Hamilton 
and has spent her life here, a woman of many fine qualities and of 
good business ability. She is a daughter of the late Joseph and 
Kunennda Schatt, both deceased, her father having for many years 
been a gardener on East avenue. Of the four sons born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Fries, three are working for their mother in taking care of the 
business : Fred J., born in 1884, and single ; Carl J., born in 1886, and 
a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Loyal Order of 
Moose and the Catholic Knights of America; and Ralph F., born in 
1890, a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Knights of 
Columbus, who married Catherine Brell of Hamilton. The fourth 
son, Joseph, born in 1888, enlisted in the army during the World 
war, and was taken sick in France. During his entire stay overseas 
he was confined to the hospital. After his return to the United 
States he took up his abode at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and after re- 
gaining his health at this fort, returned to his home as an assistant 
to his mother and brothers in the conduct of the business. He is a 
member of the order of Eagles. All the boys attended St. Stephen's 
parochial school, and Ralph F. had a course in the Hamilton Business 
college. This old, well-liked and highly respected family belongs to 
St. Stephen's Catholic church, and is noted for its liberality and 
public-spiritedness, and for its generous support of education and 
other enlightening agencies. 

David L. Frisch. In connection with presenting a list of the re- 
liable and industrious business men of the past who had a share in 
developing the industries of Butler county, prominent mention 
should be made of David L. Frisch, who was both a farmer and a 
manufacturer of brick, and who at the same time was a worthy, 
constructive and helpful citizen. A self-made and practically self- 
educated man, he won success through merit alone, and his memory 
is still green in the hearts of his fellow-citizens despite the fact that 
some years have passed since he was called to his final rest. Mr. 
Frisch was born in Bavaria, Germany, March 18, 1839, a son of 
Michael and Catherine (Welscher) Frisch, of that country, who were 
married in their native locality, and all of whose children were born 
there. The father was a shoemaker by trade and did fairly well in 
his native land, but after the death of his wife, in 1848, partly to get 
away from associations and partly to secure the opportunities offered 
in America, he disposed of his interests there and in 1850 boarded a 
sailing vessel, arriving at Baltimore, Md., after a voyage of six 
weeks. For a time he resided at Cincinnati, but eventually pur- 
chased a small place at Alexandria, Ky., and there continued to en- 
gage in farming until the time of his death, at the age of sixty-one 
years. He and Mrs. Frisch were the parents of five children : John, 
a shoemaker, who came to the United States in 1849, located first at 
Cincinnati and then moved to Middletown, where he was a gardener 
on East Third street until his death ; Fred, deceased, who was a 
farmer in the vicinity of Piqua, Ohio ; Eliza, deceased, who was the 
wife of the late Frank Tieman ; Barbara, deceased, who was the wife 
of the late John Hey ; and David L. The fourth child of his parents. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 231 

David L. Frisch attended school in Europe for six years, but had no 
opportunities for an education after coming to the United States, 
and is therefore self-educated in the language of this country. In 
1853, when he located at Middletown, he found employment with 
John Lauks, and subsequently worked with Jacob Arp at brick mak- 
ing for about three years. He continued in that same line as an 
employee until 1864, when he established a modest plant of his own 
at Middletown, where he was located on Third street for several 
years, as well as at other points, and bought property on Fifth 
street. In 1878 he purchased the Post farm of seventy-two acres, 
upon which he made modern improvements, and put up a brick kiln, 
but four years later sold out to his sons and continued to live quietly 
in his comfortable home until his death, which occurred November 
6, 1918. Mr. Frisch was always a staunch Republican, but did not 
care for public office. Many evidences of his good workmanship 
and business stability still exist in Middletown, where, during his 
active years he did much contract work. He and Mrs. Frisch were 
members of St. Paul church, and were generous supporters of all 
worthy movements, religious, moral, civic and educational. They 
were widely known, were greatly appreciated for their many excel- 
lencies of mind and heart, and had numerous warm friends. Mr. 
Frisch married Miss Kate Baldwein, of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, 
who came to the United States in 1852 and died in January, 1910, 
and they became the parents of ten children : Dora, who died in 
infancy; Louis, who died at the age of fifteen years ; Katie, who died 
when seventeen years of age; Emma, who died young; Charles, de- 
ceased, a tailor, who married Lena Wellmer ; Mary, who is deceased ; 
Ida, of Stone Lake, Iowa, who married C. Bauman ; Edward, a con- 
tractor of Middletown, who married Mrs. Mary (Dell) Hall ; John, 
a photographer of Cincinnati, who married a Miss Lane ; Homer, 
a tile and brick manufacturer of Mount Pulaski, 111., who married 
Dora Lucas; and Gardner, a farmer, who resided with his father 
until the latter's death, and married Mary Brinkley. This family is 
one which is well known in Butler county, and its members are 
worthy representatives of the name they bear and of the various 
activities which combine to form the life of the community. 

Jacob Fuhr. The American Milling Company at Middletown 
claims Jacob Fuhr as one of its experienced heaters. Mr. Fuhr's 
identification with this company dates back to 1909 and during the 
time that has elapsed he has been faithful and competent in the dis- 
charge of his duties. He was born at Philadelphia, Pa., July 14, 
1878, a son of William Fuhr. His mother died when he was a mere 
child, while the father is still living. Besides Jacob there was but 
one other child in the family: Helen, who became Mrs. Frank 
Scheeler, and at her death left two children : George and Lillie, the 
latter of whom is now Mrs. Dewey Smith. Jacob Fuhr received his 
education in the public schools of Philadelphia, and as a youth be- 
came identified with work connected with the rolling mills. He 
served his apprenticeship, passed through a stage as a journeyman, 
in whi' h he worked at various cities, and eventually located at 
Piqua, Ohio, whence he came to Middletown in 1909. Since 



232 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

then he has been employed in the great plant of the American Roll- 
ing mill, in the capacity of heater. The ten-year service pin worn 
by Mr. Fuhr, and recently presented to him by the company, is em- 
blematic of a decade of faithful, efficient and conscientious service. 
Shortly after his arrival at Middletown, Mr. Fuhr purchased a very 
comfortable home located on Park street, where he is wont to en- 
tertain his numerous friends on occasion. Like other self-made men, 
he believes in organization for protection, and is an active and loyal 
member of the Amalgamated Association of Steel Workers. In 
politics he is liberal. September 17, 1896, Mr. Fuhr married Mary 
Stanley, who was born at Bunker Hill, near Lockington, Ohio, De- 
cember 2, 1878, a daughter of John and Eva (Snoshley) Stanley, 
highly respected agricultural people who are still living and whose 
home is near Piqua. One of Mrs. Fuhr's brothers, Isaac Stanley, 
is a farmer in the vicinity of Piqua; another brother, Frank, resides 
at Sidney, Ohio ; and a sister, Minnie, is the wife of Henry Rice, at 
Troy, Ohio. To Mr. and Mrs. Fuhr there have been born two sons 
and one daughter: Willie, born in 1897; Emma, born in 1899; and 
Stanley, born in 1901. The two sons, who had been carefully pre- 
pared in their trades, are at present employed at the American Roll- 
ing mill. 

George Galley. In the great plant of the American Rolling 
mill, located at Middletown, there are represented many of the 
world's nationalities among the employees. "Bonnie" Scotland 
has contributed its full quota of sturdy sons, whose natural char- 
acteristics incline to make them excellent and dependable workers, 
and among this category is found George Gailey. Mr. Galley's 
service with the company covers a period of eighteen years, and 
has been faithful and valuable. He was born in Scotland, January 
24, 1863, a son of James and Mary (Wright) Gailey, the father 
dying in Scotland January 1, 1907, and the mother passing away 
in Middletown, February 2, 1909. There were seven children in 
the family: George; John, who still resides in Scotland; Joseph, 
living in Middletown ; James and Andrew, who never left Scotland; 
Mary, the wife of Peter Lillie ; Miss Sarah, who also resides in her 
native land. George Gailey was given the advantages of a public 
school education in Scotland, and there was apprenticed to his trade 
' as a young man. He mastered its details and was variously em- 
ployed in the mills of his native country, but eventually felt that 
he was not making sufficiently rapid progress, and in 1902 emigrated 
to the United States and at once settled at Middletown. Here he 
identified himself with the American Rolling mill, and his subse- 
quent industry, fidelity and general ability have combined to gain 
him advancement and to put him in a position of importance among 
the workers of the great plant. Mr. Gailey was united in matri- 
mony, July 12, 1889, with Margaret, daughter of James and Jean 
(Cunningham) Bissett, the mother of whom died v/hen Mrs. Gailey 
was a child of fourteen years. Mrs. Gailey had three sisters and 
two brothers, all residents of Scotland : Mrs. Mary Robertson, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Wells, Mrs. Jean Jeffrey, David and Alexander. Four 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gailey: James, who is 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 233 

deceased; Alexander, who married Susan Mosier and has one son 
and one daughter — James and Mary Margaret; Jean, who married 
Casper Noell and has one daughter, — Margaret Vernon; and Mary 
Wright, who is attending the Middletown High school class of 1920, 
and is also studying instrumental music. Mr. Gailey maintains 
an independent stand in political affairs, being liberal in his views 
and unwilling to be tied down by party lines. He is affiliated 
fraternally with the local lodge of the Masonic order and the Tribe 
of Ben-Hur, and, with his family, belongs to the Methodist church. 
Since coming to Middletown, he has erected a handsome home 
at 804 Forest avenue, which is noted for its hospitality. 

Bernard C. Gardner. The activities of Bernard C. Gardner in 
the agricultural community of Reily township, have found expres- 
sion and an outlet in the carrying on of a business somewhat unique 
among the occupations to which the residents of this community 
devote themselves. There is nothing unusual in his operations 
as a gardener and poultry breeder, but in addition to these lines he 
also raises ferrets, Belgian hares, and fine-bred hunting dogs, 
specialties in which he has built up a large business and something 
of a reputation. Mr. Gardner was born at Hamilton, Ohio, October 
31, 1871, a son of Peter and Elizabeth (Pater) Gardner, natives of 
Germany. The parents came to the United States as young people 
and settled at Hamilton, where they met and were married, and 
thereafter followed farming in Butler county. They were worthy, 
highly respected and God-fearing people, and had a family of ten 
children. Bernard C. Gardner attended the public schools of the 
country and at Hamilton, and was also prepared by a course at 
business college. As a youth he learned the coppersmith trade, 
which he followed at Cincinnati, Ohio, for seven years, and then 
embarked in the coal business, which he engaged in at Hamilton 
for nine years. At the end of that period he became the owner by 
purchase of the Watkins farm in Reily township, upon which he 
engaged in gardening and poultry breeding. Gradually, Mr.Gard- 
ner began to add side lines to his business, and now a considerable 
part of his time and attention are given to the raising of ferrets. 
Belgian hares, finely bred hunting dogs and other animals, and 
has regular customers throughout Ohio and adjoining states. He 
is a man of excellent business ability and his standing in commercial 
circles is of the best. His politics is that of the Democratic party, 
and as a fraternalist he belongs to the Loyal Order of Moose, at 
Hamilton. With his family, he belongs to the Catholic church at 
Oxford. Mr. Gardner was married in 1894 to Louise, daughter of 
Henry and Susan Heckroth, who was born in Pennsylvania of 
English descent, and they are the parents of one son, Vernon, who 
has always been associated with his father in his business enter- 
prises. 

Charles G. Gardner, the popular station agent and enterprising 
and progressive merchant at Woods Station, Ohio, has been a resi- 
dent of this community all of his life, having been born here 
December 2, 1879, a son of George and Jennie (Barnes) Gardner. 
The parents were natives of near Baltimore, Md., where they were 



234 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

married and where the father conducted a grocery for several years. 
Later George Gardner went to Portsmouth, Ohio, and subsequent- 
ly to St. Louis, where he followed merchandising, then locating at 
Hamilton, Ohio, where for one year he conducted a store on Fifth 
street. In 1871 and 1872 he was a merchant at Flenners Corner, 
Ohio, and in the latter year came to Woods Station, where he 
established himself in business. When the railroad was built 
through to this point, he was appointed station agent and built 
the station at this place, and here he continued to reside, in the 
esteem of his associates and the confidence of the people, until his 
death in 1907 at the age of eighty years. He was a Democrat in 
politics, in religion a Universalist, and fraternally an Odd Fellow. 
Mrs. Gardner, who died in 1913 at the age of seventy-three years, 
was a Presbyterian, and for eighteen months during the Civil war 
served as nurse in a Confederate hospital near Richmond, Va. 
They were the parents of three children: one who died in 1887; 
one who died in 1875 ; and Charles G. of this notice. Charles G. 
Gardner was educated in the public schools, after leaving which 
he engaged in business with his father. At the time of the elder 
man's death he assumed management of the business, and also 
succeeded to the position of station agent. A courteous, obliging 
man, he has won popularity among the traveling public, and these 
same qualities have served him well in a business way, combined 
as they are with his real business capacity, progressiveness and 
principles of fair dealing. He is a Democrat in politics, but has 
taken only a passive part in political affairs, although active in 
movements which promise civic betterment. In religion he is a 
Universalist and his wife a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Both are well and favorably known in their part of Butler 
county, where they have many friends. Mr. Gardner was married 
in 1915 to Leona, daughter of Harvey H. Jones, of Woods Station, 
and they are the parents of two children : June Margaret and George 
Harvey. 

Colin Gardner. In order to give adequate expression to the 
influence a man exerts over his fellows, it is necessary to delve 
into the motives which actuated him and the circumstances under 
which his activities were inspired. This is seldom done while a 
man is living, but after he has passed from this phase of existence 
his contemporaries are better able to judge his character rationally 
and form a fair estimate of him and his work. Judged in such a" 
manner the late Colin Gardner, who died March 7, 1919, appears 
very advantageously, for he was a man of alert capability who acted 
from the finest and most sincere of motives and faithfully performed 
every duty that devolved upon him in every walk of life. His 
business associations brought him to Middletown, where for years 
he was one of his community's foremost citizens, a leader in busi- 
ness, in civic life, in religion, in education and in charity. Mr. 
Gardner was born November 7, 1839, at Cincinnati, Ohio, a son 
of James Brewster and Elizabeth (Ludlow) Gardner. He received 
a high school education at Cincinnati and as a lad worked on his 
father's farm near Troy, but had aspirations to go to the city and 




n 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 235 

work for himself. The family finances were in a rather modest 
condition, but his father gave him the privilege of raking over 
the wheatfields the second time, and this he did so thoroughly that 
the wheat which he secured he sold for $13. With this sum as his 
worldly wealth he went to Cincinnati, where he secured a position 
as errand boy with the firm of George W. Jones & company, a 
wholesale dry goods concern. Almost from the start he was given 
advancement, and within three years the ambitious youth had 
become a member of the firm. Mr. Gardner remained with this 
house up to the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Tytus, of Middle- 
town, December 6, 1870. She was a graduate of Vassar college 
and a daughter of Francis Jefferson and Sarah (Butler) Tytus. 
She and Mr. Gardner became the parents of three children : Edward 
Tytus, Colin jr. and Robert Brewster. Shortly after his marriage, 
Mr. Gardner resigned his position with George W. Jones & com- 
pany and located at Middletown, where he went into business with 
his father-in-law, Francis Jefferson Tytus, in a concern known as 
the Tytus Paper company. He remained with this enterprise a 
number of years and was later made its vice-president. Subse- 
quently Messrs. Tytus and Gardner started another paper mill, 
known as the Gardner Paper company, of which Colin Gardner 
became president, and later embarked in a new enterprise, the 
manufacture of paper bags, for which they organized the Ohio 
Paper Bag company, of which Mr. Gardner was also president. 
The three concerns were later consolidated into one company, 
known as the Tytus-Gardner Paper and Manufacturing company, 
of which Colin Gardner was made president, remaining in that 
capacity until 1900, at which time he resigned. One year previous 
to this action, the old Gardner Paper company had been destroyed 
by fire, and when he resigned as president of the Tytus-Gardner 
Paper and Manufacturing company he sold what stock he had in 
that company and bought the ground on which the Gardner Paper 
company had been located, together with the salvage, which con- 
sisted of some of the old machinery, boilers, etc. In the fall of 
1900 he organized the Colin Gardner Paper company, of which he 
was made president, and remodeled the old machine that was 
there for the manufacture of paper box boards. This industry met 
with success, due to his capable management, and in 1904 he more 
than doubled the capacity of the mill by installing another machine, 
which was larger than the original one. In 1908 he organized the 
Gardner-Harvey Paper company, installing a very large paper 
board machine, and in 1916 organized the Gardner Paper Board 
company and took over the old National Box Board company, which 
was at that time in the hands of the receiver. All three of these 
companies met with phenomenal success, due to the efforts of 
Colin Gardner, who it is conceded was one of the most brilliant 
business men of his day. He was a Republican, but took no active 
part in politics, nor did he care for fraternal connections. During 
the Civil war he served with the 100-day men in the Union service. 
Throughout his life he was an active member in the First Baptist 
church. The following memorial tribute to Mr. Gardner was 



236 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

written by his friend, Daniel F. Rittenhouse, at the time of Mr. 
Gardner's death : "A man who identifies his life with Christ and 
higher interests as did Mr. Gardner develops a character that stands 
like a mighty column set upon foundations sure and steadfast. 
Such a man builds himself into the character and institutional life 
of a community. If I were to choose a passage of Scripture upon 
which to base my remarks today it would be Revelations 3:12, 
'Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my 
God.' It was in the stillness of a midnight hour that the painful 
tidings briefly told me Mr. Gardner had died. I knew that the 
central pillar of my own world had been moved. I knew that a 
strong pillar had slipped in the stir and bustle of Middletown's in- 
dustrial life. I knew that a pillar on which scores of other lives 
were daily leaning had been shattered. I knew that a pillar in our 
Baptist church had fallen. But, looking beyond the shadows of 
darkness I seemed to see a shining steady shaft set on high and 
read the destiny he has gone forward to realize : 'Him that over- 
cometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.' The ground- 
work of such a victorious life is simple, yet profound. First, a 
boundless faith shaped and sustained his history. At times the 
great interests he had were not sharing as largely as they might 
in profits. Mr. Gardner never lost hope. He confidently believed 
matters would right themselves again. Rarely could a man be found 
with more definite convictions, clearer opinions and firmer attitude. 
He was no shifter. He never played fast and loose with duty ; when 
he saw clearly a course of procedure he went forward with in- 
vincible firmness. Again, his sincerity and freedom from sham 
was an outstanding characteristic, he was keen to detect pretense 
and hypocrisy and burned against it. Few men are more complete- 
ly above the spirit of envy. When his own business chanced by 
unfavorable circumstances to make little or no profits, he could 
readily rejoice in the success and prosperity of others. Indeed, so 
anxious was he, so optimistic was he, that he was always hopeful 
for those who were unpromising. But he had small use for a 
shiftless man who showed no appreciation for the help others 
offered him. To the man of earnest purpose and faithful effort 
Mr. Gardner always gave abundant sympathy and generous en- 
couragement. He firmly believed that every man should earn his 
right to live by his daily effort. As long as it was physically pos- 
sible, Mr. Gardner was a wonderful example of what he advocated 
and was found daily in his office abreast of all the details of his 
business. Again, there were times when this great man might 
have been pardoned had he appeared gloomy and downhearted 
because of seizures of illness. But in reasonable health his spirit 
of optimism and cheerfulness were as refreshing as the sea breeze. 
His glad, energetic atmosphere put new spring into your own power 
of enjoyment. Few husbands manifest such constant, loving in- 
terest in his wife as Mr. Gardner showed for Mrs. Gardner who 
has gone before. In health she was surrounded with abundance. 
During her protracted illness he was ready to spend the whole of 
his vast material resources if need be for her comfort and restora- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 237 

tion. He once told me some friends had suggested that he leave 
in our city something as a monument to his memory. He replied 
that the monument he most desired to leave behind would be his 
three sons as worthy citizens, properly trained and inspired by such 
ideals as he had ever tried to hold before their vision. It was this 
high and noble appreciation for home and family that inspired in 
Mr. Gardner many simple and beautiful unrecorded charities toward 
less fortunate families. In all our community a more wonderful 
example of deep, untiring patriotism could not be found. He 
demonstrated that a true American citizen is never too old to be 
patriotic. In his eightieth year the fires of patriotic devotion 
burned with brilliant glow and he supported with great liberality 
every measure for winning the war. With all the large interests 
that filled Mr. Gardner's big heart, none held a larger place than 
did the First Baptist church. He often regretted his inability to do 
many things in the church of more public character, but believed 
every man should serve the Lord earnestly with just such gifts as 
God had given him. He considered that his gifts lay in the direction 
of vital sympathy with all church activities, personally present at 
public worship and money contributed as generously as one could 
afford. He faithfully practised this teaching to the end. Indeed, 
every class of persons, every institution in our city, is stricken by 
Mr. Gardner's death. The laboring men know they have lost a 
friendly helper. Times when conditions almost demanded that 
his mills be closed, he was willing to keep the machines operating 
at a loss rather than that his men should be thrown out of employ- 
ment. The big, strong men who stood with him full-breasted 
against the hard business problems that force themselves upon the 
attention of manufacturers, shake today with inward sobs because 
this braver brother-soul will walk with them no more in future 
tempestuous days. Others whom he scarcely knew will miss him 
riding through the streets from his home to his ofifice. He suffered 
much, but at last fell suddenly. No dying scenes can be related. 
Just as the Angel of a new day stepped from one day to the next 
at midnight, March 7, 1919, the Angel of the Lord overstooped his 
pillow and whispered the summons of departure. He was gone. 
He has gone to make Heaven stronger and more beautiful. 'Hence- 
forth he will be a pillar in the temple of our God and he shall go no 
more out.' 'The finest fruit earth holds up to God is a finished 
man.' Mr. Gardner was a well-finished man. Such fruit Christ 
sought in him and seeks in us. May the consolation of the Lord to 
his stricken household be greater than their anguish. May this 
lonely darkness bring them through all the years until one by one 
each shall also be lifted higher to find broader light, sweeter peace 
and the abiding fellowship of him who has been taken from their 
arms." 

Colin Gardner, jr., scion of an honored family of Middletown, 
and one of the prominent and influential business men of the city, 
was born at Middletown, June 30, 1886, a son of Colin and Elizabeth 
(Tytus) Gardner. A review of the family will be found in the 
sketch of his father on another page of this work. Colin Gardner, 



238 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

jr. attended the Middletown public school, and University of Cin- 
cinnati, and for three years was a student at Sheffield Scientific 
school, Yale university, graduating therefrom June 30, 1909. Im- 
mediately thereafter he became timekeeper at the plant of the 
Gardner-Harvey Paper company, and a year or so later was ad- 
vanced to the sales department of the Colin Gardner Paper com- 
pany, an allied concern. He was subsequently made treasurer, an 
office which he held until 1917, at which time he was elected vice- 
president of this concern as well as of the Gardner-Harvey Paper 
company and the Gardner Paper company. In addition he is in 
charge of the sales of these three companies. While his business 
interests are heavy, demanding much of his time and attention, 
he has found the leisure as well as the inclination to contribute of 
his abilities toward the furtherance of worthy movements. In 
1917 he became a charter member of Middletown Chapter, American 
Red Cross, and was made chairman of the Chapter for the period 
of the war, and has continued in that capacity to the present time. 
In 1916 he was made a member of the first board of trustees of 
the Middletown Hospital association, and under the administration 
of this board the hospital was opened and commenced operation. 
In 1918 he was elected treasurer of the Middletown hospital and 
still acts in this capacity. Mr. Gardner is a member of the First 
Baptist church of Middletown, and of Sigma Chapter fraternity 
of the Delta Psi at Yale university. His political belief makes him 
a Republican. April 6, 1911, Mr. Gardner was united in marriage 
with Ethel, daughter of Allen and Mary Louella (Johnson) Ames, 
the former of Oswego and the latter of Sterling valley, N. Y. Mrs. 
Gardner was educated at a convent at Brentwood, L. I., N. Y., 
and at Miss Bennett's School, Millbrook, N. Y. She and her 
husband are the parents of four children : Colin III, Ames, Nancy 
Elizabeth and Eugenia. 

Edward Tjrtus Gardner. One of the chief industries of Middle- 
town is that represented by the Gardner & Harvey company, which 
is selling and purchasing company for three plants manufacturing 
superior grades of patent coated boards, paper box boards, blanks 
and specialties, the Colin Gardner Paper company, the Gardner- 
Harvey Paper company and the Gardner Paper Board company. 
The main factor in the development of this large and important 
concern is Edward Tytus Gardner, who, during a comparatively 
short career has shown a genius for organization and executive 
powers that have steadily advanced him to the front rank of manu- 
facturers in this special field. He was born September 16, 1879, at 
Middletown, Ohio, a son of Colin and Elizabeth (Tytus) Gardner, 
and received public school advantages, graduating from the Frank- 
lin High school, Cincinnati. Soon thereafter, in 1899, he became 
paymaster in the Tytus-Gardner Paper & Manufacturing company, 
but in the fall of 1900 resigned that position and went into business 
with Colin Gardner and G. H. Harvey, incorporating the Colin 
Gardner Paper company and building its plant at Middletown. He 
was made treasurer and sales manager at that time, rose to the 
vice-presidency in 1909, and in the fall of 1917 was made president, 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 239 

a position which he still retains. In 1904, by the addition of a new 
machine, the capacity of this plant was more than doubled. In 
1909 Mr. Gardner was one of the main incorporators of the Gard- 
ner-Harvey Paper company and after building its plant was made 
vice-president of the concern, advancing to the presidency, in 1917, 
which he still retains. In 1916, at a sheriff's sale, Mr. Gardner 
purchased at Hamilton the National Box Board company, which 
at that time was in the hands of a receiver, and subsequently sold 
this concern to the Gardner Paper Board company, newly incor- 
porated, of which he was made vice-president. In the fall of 1917 
he was made president, and still holds this position. Mr. Gardner 
is one of the energetic business men of the Miami valley who has 
created his own opportunities and has made the most of his chances. 
Essentially a man of business, he has sought no political offices, 
and his only interest in public matters is that taken by all public- 
spirited citizens. He votes the Republican ticket and belongs to 
the First Baptist church of Middletown, and his fraternal connec- 
tions are with the local lodges of the Masons and the Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks. April 15, 1909, Mr. Gardner was 
united in marriage with Janet, daughter of William Blake and 
Louise (Stockstill) Earnshaw, of Dayton, Ohio. Mrs. Gardner 
was educated at Miss Knox School, Briar Cliff, N. Y., and is one 
of the popular younger matrons in Middletown's social circles. Mr. 
and Mrs. Gardner are the parents of two children : Edward Tytus, 
jr. and William Earnshaw. 

John J. Gardner. Of the resourceful agriculturists who have 
fashioned their careers within the boundaries of Hanover township, 
one who has made a success of his life and is accounted one of the 
substantial citizens of his part of Butler county, is John J. Gardner. 
Mr. Gardner is a native of Newport, Ky., born December 2, 1855, 
a son of Nicholas and Mary (Viellieber) Gardner, both of whom 
were born in Germany. Coming to the United States separately, 
before marriage, the parents met and were united in marriage in 
Newport, Ky., and after residing there several years came to Ohio 
and settled first near Hamilton. Later they resided near Darrtown, 
subsequently moving to Hanover township, and eventually settled 
permanently on the farm a part of which is occupied by their son. 
In the evening of life they retired from all active pursuits and took 
up their residence at Hamilton, where both passed away, honored 
and esteemed by those who knew them and recognized their many 
excellent traits of character. They were devout members of the 
Catholic faith and consistent attendants of St. Peter's Catholic 
church. Two children were born to them : Kate, who became the 
wife of John Lagagrost ; and John J., of this notice. John J. Gard- 
ner attended the public schools of Hanover township, on Millville 
pike and at Bunker Hill, and eventually was sent to St. Stephen's 
parochial school of the Catholic schurch, at Hamilton. Returning 
home, he began assisting his father, and at the time of the latter's 
retirement from active affairs assumed management of the home 
farm, which he has conducted successfully to the present time. He 
owns ninety-two acres of land, on which he has added many im- 



246 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

provements to those planned and executed by his father, and has 
a comfortable residence, well-constructed barns and outbuildings, 
and many of the comforts and luxuries known to the man whose 
agricultural energies have reached to the enlightenment of the 
twentieth century. Farming and stock raising have held his atten- 
tion to the exclusion of other matters, but he takes a keen and in- 
teUigent inetrest in township' affairs, and is ever ready to public- 
spiritedly assist worthy movements. Politically, he supports Demo- 
cratic candidates and principles, and his religious faith is that of 
the Catholic denomination, he and the members of his family be- 
longing to St. Peter's congregation at Hamilton. In 1888 Mr. 
Gardner was united in marriage with Carrie, daughter of John T. 
Lagagrost, of Hanover township, and to this union there were 
born two children: William, a resident of Hamilton; and Walter, 
who is deceased. The mother of these children died in 1895, and 
Mr. Gardner was subsequently married to Mrs. Lena (Sprauer) 
Ernst, widow of Joseph Ernst, who had three children by her first 
marriage : Joseph, who married Carrie Huber ; Carrie, the wife of 
John Phillips ; and Mary, the wife of John Lagagrost. Three 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gardner : George, Paul 
and Hilda, all at home. 

Peter C. Gardner is one of the enterprising agriculturists of 
Butler county and the owner of a well improved farm of eighty-one 
acres in Hanover township. He has always devoted his energies to 
farming and his efforts have been followed with excellent results, 
so that he is now one of the substantial citizens of his community. 
Mr. Peter C. Gardner was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, January 
8, 1860, a son of John and Margaret (Schellenbach) Gardner. Peter's 
father came to America from Prussia, Germany, and his mother was 
a native of Paris, France. As a youth John Gardner accompanied 
his parents to the United States, the family settling in Fairfield 
township, Hamilton county, where he met Miss Schellenbach, who 
had been brought here by her parents, who located at Hamilton, 
Ohio, after their marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner spent three years 
as residents of Hamilton county and then moved to Hanover town- 
ship, Butler county, and occupied a farm near the present farm of 
their son Peter C. There they resided until the spring of 1885, when 
they moved to Hamilton, Ohio, and rounded out their useful and 
honorable lives, in comfortable retirement. They were faithful mem- 
bers of the Catholic church and were laid to rest in St. Stephen's 
cemetery, Hamilton, Ohio. Their children were John, who became 
an Indian fighter on the western frontier and who is now a resident 
of San Francisco, Cal. ; Peter C, who resides on his farm in Hanover 
township; Albert, who resides at 555 Park avenue, Hamilton, Ohio; 
and Anna, who is single, is also a resident of Hamilton, Ohio. Peter 
C. Gardner attended the public schools of Hanover township and St. 
Stephen's Parochial school of Hamilton and with the completion of 
his education took up farming for his father. He was married No- 
vember 29, 1884, to Anna Thekla Mensch, daughter of John and 
Mary Mensch of Hamilton. After their union Mr. and Mrs. Gardner 
began housekeeping on the home place, where they resided for about 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 241 

twenty years and then moved to their present farm, which they have 
brought to a high state of fertility and productiveness. They are in- 
cluded among the substantial people of their community and can be 
counted on to support all worthy measures. During the war period 
they not only gave four of their sons to the service of their country 
but were liberal in their contributions to all war activities. They are 
faithful members of St. Peter's Catholic church. Mr. Gardner is a 
staunch Democrat and takes an active and helpful interest in civic 
affairs, being at this time a member of the board of township trus- 
tees of Hanover township. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gardner are the 
parents of nine children: Albert, who went overseas with Company 
H, 4th U. S. Infantry and was in the following engagements : Aisne 
Def., June 5, 1918; Champagne Def. Marne, July 15 to 18, 1918; 
Aisne Marne Ofif. September 12 to 16, 1918; Meuse Argonne Off. 
September 26 to November 11, 1918; (Signed R. E. Gillesby Captain 
Company H, 4th U. S. Infantry) ; John, who went overseas with 
Company D, 22nd Engineers, was in the following engagements : 
St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne fronts ; Joseph, who went overseas 
with the 142d Field Artillery was engaged on the Meuse Argonne 
front from September 6 to November 11, 1918; Peter, who was sta- 
tioned at Springfield, Mass., and acted as U. S. guard at Springfield 
rifle plant until his discharge from service; the other three sons, 
Bernard, Owen and Jacob were engaged in farming, and two daugh- 
ters. Miss Margaret, who resides with her parents on the farm and 
Lena, who married Mr. Clayton Baker, a farmer of Butler county, 
and have two children, a daughter, Ruth, and a son, Elwood Baker. 
All of the children were given good educational advantages and have 
grown to be a credit to their rearing and to their community. 

Robert Brewster Gardner. When he entered upon his wage- 
earning career, Robert Brewster Gardner deliberately chose the 
hard although thorough route of learning his chosen business in 
all its details, and therefore accepted a position as laborer. From 
this his advancement has been steady and continuous, and at the 
present time he is treasurer of the Colin Gardner Paper company, 
the Gardner-Harvey Paper company and the Gardner Paper Board 
company, of Middletown. He was born in this city, July 21, 1890, 
being a son of Colin and Elizabeth (Tytus) Gardner, a full sketch 
of whose careers will be found in the review of his father, else- 
where in this work. Mr. Gardner was a student up to the eighth 
grade of the grammar school at Middletown, and later went to 
Hotchkiss Preparatory school, Lakeville, Conn. Returning to 
Middletown in the fall of 1910, he began work as a laborer at the 
plant of the Gardner-Harvey Paper company. Subsequently, he 
was promoted to receiving clerk and then to shipping clerk, and 
later was made assistant secretary of the Colin Gardner Paper 
company and the Gardner-Harvey Paper company. In 1918 he 
was made treasurer of these two concerns and of the Gardner Paper 
Board company, and still acts in this capacity. He is an energetic 
and capable young business man, who knows his business thorough- 
ly in all its details, and who is devoting his entire time thereto, with 
the result that he has found no opportunity to engage in public 



?42 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

affairs or fraternal life. He is a Republican voter, and his religious 
connection is with the First Baptist church of Middletown. Mr. 
Gardner was married May 21, 1913, to Edna, daughter of Edgar 
Mott and Katherine (Prather) Woolley, of Cincinnati, and to this 
union there have been born two children : Elizabeth Tytus and 
Robert Brewster, jr. 

Andrew Jackson Gamer. Among the substantial farmers of 
Butler county is Andrew Jackson Garner, whose attractive residence 
and productive farm are situated in Reily township. Mr. Garner 
has passed his entire life in Butler county, where he was born 
September 26, 1842, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Keever) 
Garner, the former of Virginia and the latter of Pennsylvania. 
Samuel Garner was but nine years of age when his parents brought 
their family in a covered wagon to Ohio, and moved on to Missouri, 
where they later died, he was bound out to a family named Rich- 
mond, living near Millville. There he spent his boyhood and youth 
in hard work, but when he attained his majority he came into 
possession of eighty acres of land, part of a property that had been 
entered years before by his father in Reily township. This he 
cleared from the heavy timber, put up a log cabin, and made a 
home in section 26, and passed the rest of his life in agricultural 
pursuits, becoming well known and highly esteemed in his com- 
munity as a practical farmer, a good citizen and a kind neighbor. 
He and his wife became the parents of twelve children : Rebecca, 
deceased, who married John Dunwiddy ; William, deceased, who 
married Anna Whalen ; Henry, one of the oldest Odd Fellows in 
the state of Ohio, who married Mary Pierson and after her death 
Emma Welliver, and having been stricken with blindness, he is 
now passing the evening of life at the Odd Fellows Home, at 
Springfield, Ohio ; Elizabeth, deceased, who was the wife of David 
Royhmil ; John, deceased, who married Sarah Macklin ; Samuel, 
who married Anna Byrne; Lydia, deceased, who married David 
Discumbus ; Mary, deceased, who married Joseph Everson ; Susan, 
deceased, who married George Ragsdale ; George W., a farmer 
of Reily township, now living retired, who married Susan K. 
Welliver; Andrew Jackson, of this notice ; and Catherine, the widow 
of James Hawk, of Harrison, Ohio. Five of the above brothers 
were soldiers of the Union during the Civil war, all belonging to 
Company I, 167th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Andrew 
Jackson Garner attended the public schools of Reily township, after 
leaving which he started farming for his father, and so continued 
until his marriage, in 1866 to Marietta, daughter of Ammon and 
Susan Stitzel. There were five children in the Stitzel family: 
Harvey, who served as a soldier during the Civil war ; John, 
Ammon, Alfred and Marietta. Andrew J. Garner was also a soldier 
of the Civil war, being a member of the 167th Regiment, Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry, Capt. Samuel Wickard and Col. Thomas Moore. 
He had a good record for faithful performance of duty and bravery 
in action. After his marriage Mr. Garner settled on his father's 
farm, on which he continued to make his home until 1894, when he 
bought his present property, the old William Thompson farm in 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 243 

Reily township, where he has since carried on general farming and 
stock raising, and at the present time is the owner of twelve fine 
Shorthorns. His farm is noted for its modern improvements and 
its substantial buildings, and as a citizen Mr. Garner is held in high 
esteem, his public spirit and loyalty having been definitely proven 
during the great war when he subscribed freely to all war activities. 
Mr. Garner's first wife died in 1872, having been the mother of 
three children : Ella, deceased, who married Harry Grisholm and 
had a daughter, Ethel, who married Harvey Kochendafer and has 
a child ; Hattie, the wife of Horace Brown, of Reily township ; and 
Clayton, deceased. In 1872 Mr. Garner married Mary Gillespie, a 
review of whose family will be found elsewhere in this work in the 
sketch of her brother, John Gillespie. 

George W. Gamer. This honored Civil war veteran, who is 
now a retired resident of Reily township, was born in that town- 
ship, November 15, 1839, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Keever) 
Garner, the former of Virginia and the latter of Pennsylvania. 
Samuel Garner was but nine years of age when he accompanied his 
parents in a covered wagon to Ohio, but his parents subsequently 
moved on to Missouri, where both died, and Samuel was bound out 
to a family named Richmond, living near Millville. His boyhood 
and youth were filled with hard work, but when he reached man's 
estate he secured eighty acres of the land which his father had 
entered years before in Reily township, and this he cleared from 
the heavy timber, put up a log cabin, and made a home in section 
26. He passed the rest of his life there in agricultural pursuits and 
became well known and highly esteemed in his community. He and 
his wife became the parents of twelve children : Rebecca, deceased, 
who married John Dunwiddy ; William, deceased, who married 
Anna Whalen ; Henry, one of the old members of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows in Ohio, who, since being stricken with 
blindness, has resided at the Odd Fellows Home at Springfield, 
Ohio, married Mary Pierson, and after her death Emma Welliver ; 
Elizabeth, deceased, who was the wife of David Royhmil ; John, 
deceased, who married Sarah Macklin ; Samuel, who married Anna 
Byrne ; Lydia, deceased, who married David Discumbus ; Mary, 
deceased, who married Joseph Everson ; Susan, deceased, who mar- 
ried George Ragsdale ; George W., of this notice ; A. J., of Morgan 
township, Butler county, who married Mary Stitzel, and after her 
death Mary Gillespie ; and Catherine, the widow of James Hawk, 
of Harrison, Ohio. Five of the above brothers were soldiers of the 
Union during the war between the States, all belonging to Com- 
pany I, 167th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. George W. 
Garner grew up in the midst of pioneer surroundings and acquired 
his education in the primitive log cabin schoolhouse of his locality, 
which was fitted with puncheon seats. He was married in 1862 in 
Reily township, to Susan K., daughter of P. J. B. and Elizabeth 
(Everson) Welliver, of Reily township, and a granddaughter of 
Obediah and Hannah (Johnson) Welliver. Hannah was but seven- 
teen years old when she married Obediah Welliver and almost 
immediately after her union joined her husband in a six-week' trip 



244 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

overland in a covered wagon to the new Ohio country, and never 
saw her parents thereafter. She and her husband, who were both 
Pennsylvanians, secured land from the United States Government 
at Bunker Hill, and in addition to doing some farming kept a tavern 
which became very popular with the pioneers, with the result that 
they became well known and highly respected people of their com- 
munity during the early days. P. J. B. Welliver was given educa- 
tional advantages a little in advance of most of the youths of his 
day, and during his life was frequently called on by his fellow- 
townsmen to occupy positions of public trust. Following his mar- 
riage he lived for many years on the old home place, but eventually 
moved to Hamilton, at the time of his retirement, and there he and 
his wife both died in the faith of the Universalists. They had the 
following children: Emma, who married Henry Garner; Cynthia, 
who married George Clark, of College Corner; Susan K., who 
became Mrs. George W. Garner ; Minerva, who married twice ; 
Alfred Johnson, deceased, a banker of Hamilton, who married 
Carrie Frazee ; Dr. James E., a physician of Dayton, now deceased ; 
Lottie Jane, who married James Van Ness, of Hamilton ; and 
Sarah and Nancy, who are deceased. Five children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Garner: Cora, who married Edward Chrissman, a 
farmer of Reily township and member of the township board of 
trustees, has one daughter, Irene, who is the wife of Thomas 
Johnson of Richmond, Ind. ; Annie, who married Samuel Lesher, 
and has two children, Abbie, who married Alvin Schwab and 
has a child, Brice, and Bessie, who married Henry Halter and has 
two children, — Samuel and the baby ; Samuel J., who died in in- 
fancy; Jennie, who died at the age of thirteen years; and Emma, 
the widow of D. L. Stevenson, of Oxford, with two children, — 
Helen and Charles. At the time of his marriage, Mr. Garner 
located in a two-room log cabin, but shortly thereafter enlisted for 
service in the Union army, and during the time he was wearing 
his country's uniform his wife carried on the farm. When he was 
honorably discharged, with an excellent record, he returned to the 
farm, where he remained for two years, and then built the home 
where he now lives, and where he has 160 acres of good land. When 
he started operations on this property the land was all in heavy 
timber, but Mr. Garner cleared it and put it under the plow, and 
when he retired from active pursuits, at the age of seventy years, 
he had a fertile and productive tract. Mr. Garner's energy was such, 
during his active years, that he not only cultivated his own land, 
but worked as high as five other farms. He is still active and alert, 
with clear mind and all his faculties, and both he arid Mrs. Garner 
are evidencing the benefits accruing from clean and well-lived lives. 
They are faithful Universalists, and Mr. Garner is a strict prohibi- 
tionist. 

William E. Garner. Perhaps in no other line of human en- 
deavor is more conscientious and concentrated effort given to ob- 
taining results than in agriculture. Because of the remarkable 
progress made in scientific farming within recent years and the 
well-known pride that each owner takes in developing his acres to 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 245 

the highest point of productivity there is naturally keen rivalry 
among the farmers which is invariably friendly, although at times 
assumes the aspect of sharp business competition. Undoubtedly, 
no other agriculturist in Riley township, Butler county, Ohio, has 
more reason to feel elated over what he has achieved with his 278 
acres than William E. Garner, who has the greatest faith in the 
future of the farm lands in this section of the state and who is 
justly proud over the demonstrated productivity of his holdings. 
To say that Mr. Garner owns one of the most desirable farms in the 
state of Ohio would not be exaggerating in the least, as the annual 
crop returns have been such as to warrant the assertion that his 
tract is one of the most productive of its size in the state. Also it 
might be stated that the quality of the yield of the grains and various 
items of farm produce is of the highest. Personally, Mr. Garner 
is a man to be admired for his enterprise and energy and the results 
of his activities are best attested by the enviable success which he 
has had with his farm. Born in Riley township October 11, 1859, 
he was the third in order of birth of six children of Samuel and 
Anna (Byrne) Gamer, the others being Maggie B., who became 
Mrs. William McCoy, but is now deceased ; Samuel J., deceased ; 
Mary, who married John Flannigan ; Harry of Millville and Alice, 
deceased. Samuel Garner was born in Riley township and his wife 
was a native of County Cork, Ireland. She came to this country 
with her parents at a tender age, her father expiring on a boat 
during a voyage on the Ohio river. The family located in Cin- 
cinnati and later with her two brothers moved to Riley township, 
Butler county. Immediately after their marriage the parents of 
William Garner settled on a farm nearby his present abode and 
both continued to live there until the time of their deaths. William 
Garner had all the advantages of a good public school education and 
as he was studious and steadfast he made the most of these oppor- 
tunities. In addition to attending the Riley township school he also 
studied in Millville, where his parents resided two years. February 
6, 1901, he married Mary E. Remp, daughter of John and Harriet 
(Brown) Remp, in Ross township. Five children were born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Remp, — Mary E., Walter, George, Martin, who is a 
professor in Wooster college, and Olive, wife of the secretary of 
the agricultural department of Ohio State university. After their 
marriage William Garner and wife moved to the farm where 
they now reside. They are the parents of two children, Hary Lee 
and Hattie Bell. Socially, William Garner and wife are popular 
in their section, being admired as desirable neighbors and friends. 
The recent war activities occupied much of the attention of Mr. 
Garner and he discharged his duties in each connection admirably. 
Innis T. Geary, son of John and Elizabeth (Fiscus) Geary, was 
born near Kittanning, Armstrong county. Pa. He came of sturdy 
ancestors who proved their worth and patriotism. His great-grand- 
father, kidnaped in England when four years of age and held until 
he became seventeen, came to America and fought for Freedom's 
cause in the Revolutionary war. His father was a veteran of the 
Civil war from 1861 to 1864, and for four months suffered blindness 



246 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

from injuries sustained while in service. The subject of this sketch 
was married to Mary A. Hanna, also a native of Armstrong county, 
March 29, 1889, at Apollo, Armstrong county, and to the couple were 
born two sons : Clarence Mervin, now twenty-eight years of age, 
and Gaily Floyd, now twenty-five. The former married Florence J. 
Shafor, of Hillsboro, Ohio, and the latter married Esther Shafor, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shafor of Jacksonboro, Ohio. Gaily Floyd 
was also in service during the late war, stationed at Portsmouth, 
Ohio, as examiner for the British government. Mr. Geary was one 
of a large family, the children being: Francis, Emeline, Innis, Mary 
Agnes, Margaret, Olive, Orlo W., James, deceased, Joseph Walter. 
His mother died in April, 1882; his father in 1901. Mr. Geary came 
to Middletown nineteen years ago and became identified with the 
American Rolling Mill company, as a roller, and at the present time 
is president of the Co-operative Supply company. He is a man of 
strong character and wide intelligence, a close reader and student 
and withal very conservative. He has frequently been solicited to 
accept public office, but prefers private life ; he served without pay 
as a member of the Charter Commission of Middletown. Mr. Geary 
lives in a beautiful concrete block home of nine rooms on Garfield 
avenue, and owns also other valuable property. He is a member of 
the Methodist church, and pronounces himself as "liberal in politics." 
Albert Gebhart. Prominent among the representatives of the 
agricultural industry in Butler county, one who has passed his entire 
life here and has contributed to the development of his community, 
is Albert Gebhart of St. Clair township. Mr. Gebhart is now retired 
somewhat from active affairs, having turned over the tasks of the 
farm to younger shoulders, but still maintains a keen interest in mat- 
ters agricultural, supervises the operation of his property, and con- 
tinues to exercise his energy and influence in behalf of measures 
promoting good citizenship and general advancement. Mr. Geb- 
hart was born on the farm which he now owns, June 30, 1854, and 
belongs to one of the old and highly respected families of this part 
of the Miami valley. His grandfather was George Gebhart, of 
Pennsylvania, who first came to Montgomery county with his par- 
ents as a child, and later settled here permanently in 1848, when he 
located four miles east of Miamisburg. He was married in that 
community to Sarah Zortman, of Pennsylvania stock, and subse- 
quently took up land in Hanover township, but after several years 
removed to St. Clair township and secured 179 acres of land, upon 
which he made many improvements and built a full set of buildings 
including a commodious brick house and barn. He died on his farm 
at the age of eighty-one years, while Mrs. Gebhart passed away at 
the age of seventy-nine years at Trenton. They were faithful mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church. Martin Gebhart, the only child of his 
parents, and father of Albert Gebhart, was born in Hanover town- 
ship, Butler county, and died here in March, 1874, at the age of 
forty-eight years. He married Mary Ellen, daughter of Robert and 
Susan Busenbark, of New Jersey, and granddaughter of Robert 
Busenbark, also of that state, who was an early settler of Butler 
county, locating in section 12, St. Clair township. Subsequently he 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 247 

carried on farming operations in section 1, but in his declining years 
moved to Trenton, where his death occurred, his widow passing 
away at West Elkton. In addition to farming, Mr. Busenbark car- 
ried on grain dealing. Robert and Margaret Busenbark were the 
parents of eight children : David, Robert, Redding, Doc, Mary, 
Ellen, Eliza and Margaret, all of whom are now deceased. Follow- 
ing his marriage Martin Gebhart located in section 14, St. Clair 
township, where he purchased a farm of 160 acres from Adam 
Gunkle. This had a brick house of six rooms, but Mr. Gebhart later 
built another brick house, the one in which Albert Gebhart now lives, 
a ten-room structure erected in 1872. Prior to this, in 1865, he had 
built a barn, 44x74 feet, and his property was one of the fine country 
places of the county. Mr. Gebhart was always a farmer and also 
engaged successfully in raising stock. He was.a staunch Democrat, 
and Mrs. Gebhart was a member of the Lutheran church. They 
were the parents of four children: Albert; Emma L., the wife of 
Wilson Scott, of Hartford City, Ind. ; Mary, who married William 
Teadley, of LaCrosse, Wis. ; and Margaret, wife of Henry Snively, 
of Ellwood City, Ind. Albert Gebhart received his education in the 
public schools and grew up at home. The only boy in the family, 
he remained with his parents, whom he cared for tenderly, and at the 
time of his father's death bought the interest of the other heirs in 
the home property, to which he has since added until he now has 
210 acres. This is valuable and well-cultivated land, very productive 
and fertile, and on it Mr. Gebhart has successfully carried on general 
farming, in addition to which he has been prosperous in raising 
cattle, horses and hogs. He has given up a large part of his former 
labors, but still keeps a watchful eye over the management and op- 
eration of the property. Mr. Gebhart is well known and highly 
respected among the people of his township, where he has been 
prominent in good movements. He has been active in the work of 
the First Presbyterian church of Overpeck, which he assisted in 
building, and of which he has been an official for years. His political 
faith is that of the Democratic party. On November 10, 1878, Mr. 
Gebhart was married to Mary, daughter of George and Mary R. 
Wehr, natives of Germany who came to the United States as young 
married people and, after a short stay at Cincinnati, took up their 
abode in St. Clair township, where Mr. Wehr purchased a farm. 
There he continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits until the 
time of his death at the age of seventy-eight years. His widow sur- 
vived him until the age of eighty-seven years and passed away at 
Seven Mile. They were members of the Reformed church and the 
parents of the following children : Lawrence, deceased ; Annie, de- 
ceased, who was the wife of Leslie Warwick ; Lena, who married 
Albert Smith, of Preble county, Ohio ; Andrew, formerly a farmer of 
St. Clair township, but now retired and living at Hamilton ; John, 
deceased, who married Ella Schenck; Margaret, of Seven Mile, 
widow of Lou Witherow; Mary, who became Mrs. Gebhart; and 
Lizzie, who married Emiel Whittman, of Seven Mile. Mr. and 
Mrs. Gebhart are the parents of one son : Clinton L., born on the old 
home place November 23, 1878, graduated from the Hamilton high 



248 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

school, and for a time was clerk at the St. Charles hotel, Hamilton. 
After two years he resigned, and for the past fifteen years has been 
identified with the Second National bank of Hamilton, where he now 
holds the post of assistant cashier. Mr. Gebhart is a member of the 
Y. M. C. A. He married Miss Pearl Morton. 

Daniel Gebhart. Among the native sons of Butler county who 
have won success and occupy an enviable and prominent position in 
agricultural circles is Daniel Gebhart, who is now engaged in ex- 
tensive operations on the Franklin road, near Middletown. His 
salient characteristics are determination, diligence and keen sagacity 
and upon these he has builded his prosperity, winning high and well- 
merited measure of success. Mr. Gebhart was born near Poast 
Town, Butler county, Ohio, in 1875, a son of George H. L. and Car- 
oline H. (Williamson) Gebhart. The family is an old and honored 
one in the county, where it was founded in pioneer days by the great- 
grandfather of Daniel Gebhart, John Gebhart, a native of Berks 
county, Pa., who rounded out his later years in the vicinity of Miam- 
isburg. Daniel Gebhart, the grandfather of Daniel of this notice, 
was also born in Berks county. Pa., and was still a youth when he 
accompanied his parents to Ohio. In later years he located in Mad- 
ison township, Butler county, where he engaged in farming, and 
also assisted in the building of the state dam, after which he was in 
the habit of shipping hogs on the canal to Cincinnati. His son, 
George H. L. Gebhart, was born on the Madison township farm and 
passed his active years in the cultivation of the soil, being one of his 
community's substantial citizens. The education of Daniel Geb- 
hart was secured in the district schools of Butler county, and this 
locality has always been his home. He has never had a cause to 
wish for a change of location, for here he has found material suc- 
cess, contentment and many friendships and his career has been 
along pleasant lines. As an industrious, painstaking and progres- 
sive agriculturist, he has been able to develop a valuable property, 
consisting of ninety-seven acres, and on this highly productive land 
carries on tobacco growing upon a large scale and also does general 
mixed farming, in both of which lines he has met with prosperity. 
His transacations have been carried on in a way that assures him 
of the confidence of his fellows in his integrity. Fraternally, Mr. 
Gebhart belongs to the Independent Order of Foresters, and his 
political inclinations are toward the support of the Democratic 
party and its candidates, although he is somewhat liberal in his 
views. In 1898 Mr. Gebhart married Mary, daughter of Jacob and 
Clara (Bowers) Webber, of Butler county, and they have five chil- 
dren : Susie, born July 26, 1900; Clara, born June 23, 1909; Marie, 
born March 21, 1911 ; Carol, born August 3, 1913; and Jacob, born 
January 10, 1917. 

Edwin D. Gebhart, who is now actively and profitably engaged 
in general farming and tobacco growing on Brown's Run, near 
Middletown, belongs to one of Butler county's old and highly hon- 
ored families. The present generation owes a debt of gratitude to 
the pioneers of the Miami valley that can never be repaid. The 
trials and hardships endured by them to make this region what it is 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 24» 

today, one of the foremost in the Union, cannot be realized by those 
enjoying the present comforts of an advanced civilization. The 
grandfather of Edwin D. Gebhart, Daniel Gebhart, was a pioneer of 
Butler county from Berks county, Pa. ; one who, in early life, knew 
nothing of present day comforts ; who, in his boyhood, never 
dreamed that there was much else in this life than hard work and a 
struggle for existence. He was still a young man when he came to 
Butler county and settled in the vicinity of Middletown, which was 
not in that early day the highly cultivated, prosperous section now 
known, but was covered in large part by a heavy growth of timber 
that had to be cleared away that in its place might be planted the 
crops. In that work the young manhood of Mr. Gebhart was passed, 
and those who were personally acquainted with him knew well how 
he applied himself to his task and with what satisfying results. His 
industry eventually gained him a competence, and in his later years 
he enjoyed all the comforts and conveniences of life. His son, George 
Gebhart, the father of Edwin D., was born in Butler county and in- 
herited many of the sturdy pioneer's good qualities. Like him, he 
was an energetic and industrious man, who, in the winning of a 
modest fortune, at all times held the respect and confidence of his 
fellow-men. Edwin D. Gebhart is a great-grandson of Caroline 
H. Davidson, who was born February 21, 1794, in the State of Dela- 
ware, and who, on account of the death of her mother when she was 
an infant, was reared by her grandmother in New Jersey. She was 
married March 15, 1815, to Arthur Williamson, of Monmouth coun- 
ty, N. J., who was born November 12, 1792, and died July 9, 1848, 
she surviving him until December 15, 1878. Of their children, David 
was born April 11, 1817, and died September 5, 1845, his wife Rachel 
dying December 31. 1868; Robert was born January 17, 1824, and 
died October 26, 1846; Absalom was born June 27, 1827, and died 
November 18, 1905 ; Ann Mariah was born July 31, 1830, and died 
August 21, 1852; Henry V. was born February 14, 1838, and died 
January 25, 1899 ; and Jane B. died January 24, 1897. Edwin D. 
Gebhart received his education in the district schools of Butler 
county, and grew to manhood under the parental roof. He has al- 
ways been an agriculturist, having probably inherited a predilection 
for that vocation from a long line of farming forebears, and now 
carries on mixed operations, with tobacco growing as a specialty. 
His property is located on Brown's Run, not far from Middletown, 
and is well improved with good buildings and the soil has been 
brought to a high state of productiveness through the intelligent 
use of modern methods of treatment. Mr. Gebhart is interested in 
educational matters, and has served as a member of the school board 
in his community. He is fraternally affiliated with the Independent 
Order of Foresters, and his political allegiance is given to the Demo- 
cratic party. He is unmarried and makes his home with a sister, 
Mrs. Bowlus. 

James B. Gillespie, son of Robert H. and Margaret (Bigham) 
Gillespie, was born in Hanover township, Butler county, December 
24, 1856. His father was born in Hanover township, son of Hunter 
and Hannah (Bridge) Gillespie. Robert Gillespie was their only 



250 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

child. Hannah Bridge Gillespie was the daughter of James and 
Martha (Dick) Bigham of Morgan township. Their children were: 
Margaret ; Susan, now Mrs. Garrison ; Sara, now Mrs. Baldridge. 
The parents of James B. Gillespie, the subject of this biography, 
lived near Hitesman's Hill, Hanover township, and here James Gil- 
lespie came into the world.- Later the family moved to Millville, 
and settled there. Robert H. Gillespie, James' father, and his mother 
died, in later years. To them were born the following children: 
James B., Hannah, now deceased, married Gil Kimler ; Hunter, who 
lives in Ross township ; Martha, the wife of Isaac Dick ; Charles, 
deceased ; Elmy, who married Sam Timberman, of Ross Township ; 
Ida, deceased, who married Frank Beal ; Orie, who married May 
Fisher, now living in Hanover township ; Edward, who married Miss 
Gerger. James B. Gillespie went to school at Millville. On January 
3, 1883, he married Elizabeth Roll, daughter of David and Julia 
(Brosier) Roll. Mr. Roll was a native of Hanover township, as was 
also his wife, who was the daughter of John and Martha Ann (Hites- 
man) Brosier. Mr. and Mrs. David Brosier always lived in Hanover 
township. They had one son, who died in infancy, and two daugh- 
ters, Anna, who is Mrs. Allen Gillespie, and Elizabeth, James B. 
Gillespie's wife. After marriage, Mr. and Mrs. James B. Gillespie 
resided in Hanover township, and later moved to their present home, 
the old Hunter Gillespie homestead, where Mr. Gillespie had 175 
acres, with 125 in Ross township. Mr. and Mrs. James B. Gillespie 
were the parents of Irma, who married Jess Butterfield, and now 
living near Venice ; Mr. and Mrs. Butterfield have had two children, 
Edna Elizabeth, and Paul, who died when five years old ; Clyde, who 
married Edith Clarke, of Venice, they have one child, James Wil- 
liams, who lives in Ross township ; Noah, who is unmarried. The 
family are Presbyterians. Mr. Gillespie was a Democrat and was 
identified with all war activities. He died November 14, 1919. 

John F. Gillespie is a representative of one of the old and in- 
fluential pioneer families of Butler county, where he is a scion of 
the third generation of the family in this section of the Buckeye 
state, and his lineage traces back to Irish and Scotch origin, he being 
a direct descendant of George and Jane (Allen) Gillespie, the former 
a native of County Antrim, Ireland, and the latter of Scotland. The 
sterling progenitors of the Gillespie family, of which the subject of 
this review is a member, became colonial settlers in Washington 
county. Pa., where they established their home in the year 1770, but 
it was later theirs to become pioneers of Ohio. In company with his 
family, George Gillespie voyaged down the Ohio river and settled 
near Franklin, Warren county, where they became numbered among 
the representative pioneers of the beautiful Miami valley. In this 
section of Ohio they passed thfc remainder of their lives, and it is of 
historic interest to record that when the line of the Big Four rail- 
road was being surveyed through this section, its right of way in- 
cluded the little family burial ground, in which were interred the 
bodies of George Gillespie, his wife and other members of the fam- 
ily, in Warren county, so the remains were disinterred, after the 
lapse of many years, and were given a new resting place in the ceme- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 251 

tery at Franklin. The children of this sterling pioneer couple were 
James, John, George, Mary, Mrs. Bradford; Martha, Mrs. Dick; 
Richard, Thomas, Margaret, Mrs. Kirkwood ; Edgar, and Robert, 
the last named figuring as the grandfather of him whose name in- 
itiates this review. There was one other son, William, who died 
in infancy. Robert Gillespie was a child at the time of the family 
removal from Pennsylvania to Ohio, and was reared to manhood in 
Warren county, where his father took up a tract of heavily timbered 
land and initiated the development of a farm. Robert Gillespie, 
whose death occurred March 12, 1854, was united in marriage, Oc- 
tober 16, 1782, to Miss Mary Robinson, who survived him by a score 
of years, her death having occurred February 16, 1874, and both hav- 
ing passed the closing years of their lives in Butler county, where 
they settled in the early pioneer days. They became the parents of 
a fine family of twelve children : Nancy, Mrs. Corwine ; John, James, 
Jane, Mrs. McCloskey ; George H., Sarah, Mrs. Fawcett ; Mary, Mrs. 
Wilson ; Alexander, Samuel, William R., Robert D., and Wilson. 
Robert D. Gillespie, father of John F., of this review, was born in 
Morgan township, Butler county, where he was reared under the 
conditions that marked the pioneer epoch in the history of the coun- 
ty, received the advantages of the common schools of the period, 
and eventually became a successful farmer, as gauged by the stand- 
ards of the locality and times. In 1847 was solemnized his marriage 
to Miss Caroline Bolser, who was born in Ross township, this 
county, where her father, John Bolser, was an early settler. After 
his marriage Robert D. Gillespie continued his farm enterprise in 
Morgan township until 1860, when he removed to St. Charles, in 
Reily township, where he and his wife continued to reside until their 
death. Of their children the eldest is Mrs. Alice Schultz Abbot, of 
Oxford, Ohio ; Delos W. resides at College Corner ; Josephine is the 
wife of Clement Conn ; Florence, deceased, was the wife of Richard 
Barbour ; John Franklin is the immediate subjectof this sketch ; Mary 
is the wife of Andrew J. Garner; Douglas was the next in order of 
birth ; Caroline, deceased, was the wife of Lumbra Bevis ; and Sarah 
is the wife of Dr. Harry H. Smith. The parents were earnest mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian church, and their characters and generous 
attributes gained and retained to them unqualified popular esteem, 
the while they did well their part in connection with community life 
and productive farm industry. John Franklin Gillespie was born 
in Morgan township, Butler county, on November 7, 1856, and thus 
he was a child of about three years at the time of the family removal 
to Reily township, where he was reared to manhood and where he 
profited fully by the advantages afforded in the public schools. 
Thereafter he supplemented his education by a course of study in 
the Holbrook Normal school at Lebanon, but from his early youth 
to the present time he has not faltered in his allegiance to and ap- 
preciation of the great basic industry of agriculture, of which he is 
now a prominent and successful exponent in Reily township. In 
1885 he took unto himself a wife, and in the following years they 
established themselves on their present fine homestead farm, upon 
which he has made many excellent improvements of modern order, 



252 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

the place being equipped with good buildings and giving every evi- 
dence of thrift and prosperity. Mr. Gillespie, in his civic attitude as 
vi^ell as his industrial activities, has well upheld the sterling reputa- 
tion and honor of the family name, and has taken loyal interest in 
all things concerning the welfare of the community, his political 
allegiance being given to the Democratic party, and he having given 
a quarter of a century of efifective service as a member of the school 
board of his district. He and his wife are zealous members of the 
Presbyterian church, in which he is an elder, their active member- 
ship being in the church of this denomination at Reily. In 1885 was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Gillespie to Miss Alice Lowe, who 
was born and reared in Bethany, Butler county, where her parents, 
John and Elizabeth Ann (Pilkington) Lowe, established their home 
upon coming from Baltimore, Md., to Ohio. Of the Lowe children 
the eldest is Harry, M. D., who is engaged in the practice of his pro- 
fession at Piqua, Ohio ; Genevieve was the next in order of birth ; 
Mrs. Elizabeth Ayers of Denver, Colo., is the next younger; and 
Alice is the wife of the subject of this sketch. Mr. and Mrs. Gilles- 
pie have five children : Pauline is the wife of Lawrence Reed and 
they have one child, Harold. Bryce W. married Miss Celia Smith 
and they have two children, Ellsworth and Ruth. Alice Marie has 
served since 1917 as a zealous and devoted worker in the foreign- 
mission department of the Presbyterian church, and at the time of 
this writing she is stationed at the Presbyterian mission in the an- 
cient city of Tabriz, Persia ; Robert and Helen remain at the parental 
home. 

Lee B. Gillespie is another of the native sons of Butler county 
who is here giving excellent account for himself as an exponent of 
agricultural and live stock industry. The farm which he operates is 
owned by his father and comprises eighty-two acres of the fertile 
and valuable soil of Ross township, the place being well improved 
and giving fruitful tribute of production under the progressive man- 
agement of the subject of this review. Lee Burton Gillespie was 
born in Millville, in Ross township, Butler county, and the date of 
his birth was May 11, 1887, so that he is now one of the younger 
representatives of farm enterprise in his native township. Lee B. 
Gillespie early gained fellowship with the varied duties incidental 
to the operations of the home farm, and in the public schools he con- 
tinued his studies until he had availed himself of the advantages of 
the high school at Hamilton. He continued to be associated with 
his father in farm activities until his marriage, in 1914, when he es- 
tablished his residence on his present farm, to which he has since 
given his effective supervision, as one of the alert, vigorous and suc- 
cessful representatives of agricultural industry in his native county. 
He is always ready to lend his support to measures and enterprises 
advanced for the general good of the community, is a Democrat in 
his political allegiance and both he and his wife hold membership 
in the Presbyterian church. On January 1, 1914, was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Gillespie to Miss Frances Martha Boyle, daugh- 
ter of Elias and Elizabeth (Hughes) Boyle, of Hanover township. 
After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth, Mr. Boyle married Miss 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 253 

Alice Moody, and of the two children of the first union Mrs. Gilles- 
pie is the younger, her brother, John M., who married Miss Eliza- 
beth McClellan, being now a resident of Dayton, this state. Mr. 
and Mrs. Gillespie have a winsome little daughter, Mildred B., who 
was born May 31, 1916, and who maintains a gracious rule over the 
pleasant family home. 

Orie Gillespie, operating the fine old homestead farm, in Han- 
over township, is well maintaining the prestige of the family name, 
both as a loyal citizen and as one of the progressive and substantial 
farmers of Butler county. On the farm which is his present place of 
residence, Mr. Gillespie was born February 9, 1874, a son of Robert 
and Margaret Gillespie, honored citizens, of whom more specific 
mention is made in the sketch of their son, James B. Orie 
Gillespie profited duly by the advantages afforded in the public 
schools, including those in the village of Millville. After leaving 
school Mr. Gillespie assisted his father in operating his farm until 
the time of his marriage, in 1903, when he and his bride established 
themselves on a farm, not far distant from the old homestead. There 
he continued his activities until the death of his father, July 4, 1908, 
and then he returned to the old place where he was born, and as- 
sumed the control and active management of the same, being ex- 
ceedingly successful in his operations. In politics Mr. Gillespie, 
while never ambitious for official preferment, gives his support to the 
cause of the Democratic party, and he and his wife hold membership 
in the Presbyterian church. He contributed liberally to the various 
loan and war savings stamp drives, as well as to the Noble Red 
Cross work during the period of the World war, and in all respects 
he is known as a loyal citizen well worthy of the high esteem in 
which he is held in his native county. In the year 1903 was solem- 
nized the marriage of Mr. Gillespie to May Fisher, who was born and 
reared in Butler county and who is a daughter of Jacob and Mary 
Fisher, highly respected citizens of Millville. Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie 
were the parents of a daughter who died in infancy. 

William Oliver Gillespie, was born near St. Charles, Butler 
county, the son of William R. and Elizabeth (Kemple) Gillespie. 
His father, William Gillespie, was a native of Butler county. His 
mother, Elizabeth Kemple, was the daughter of George and Cath- 
erine Kemple. William R. Gillespie and wife lived on a farm north 
of St. Charles, and to them were born the following children : Israel 
B., deceased ; Francella, now Mrs. George Huber, of Hamilton, 
Ohio ; Jeanette, deceased ; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Emmett Wilson, of 
Mixersville, Ind. ; Catherine, now Mrs. Charles Bess, of Reily, Ohio ; 
and William Oliver. The Reily township No. 8 school was the seat 
of learning at which Oliver Gillespie received his early education. 
January 31, 1889, he married Mary Porter, the daughter of Harry 
and Emily (Davis) Porter, who were the parents of James, de- 
ceased ; Ellis L. ; Mary, wife of William Oliver Gillespie ; Martha ; 
arid Blanche, deceased. After his marriage to Mary Porter, Oliver 
Gillespie lived in Reily township for four years carrying on farming 
successfully, and in 1893 moved on a farm in Morgan township. 
This farm is his today. It is of 156 acres, and is known as the old 



254 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

McKinstry farm. To him and wife have been born the following 
children : Hazel, who married Curtis Conery, who lives in Harrison, 
Ohio, and are the parents of three children, Roberta, Huber, and 
Morris ; Pearl, Warren and Paul. 

William Howard Gillispie, belonging to the intelligent class of 
workers whose activities are contributing to the success of the Amer- 
ican Rolling mills, at Middletown, was born at Springboro, Ohio, 
October 1, 1887, a son of J. Frank and Libbie M. (Stewart) Gillispie, 
of fine old pioneer stock of the Miami valley, and now residents of 
Middletown, where J. Frank Gillispie is also employed at the plant 
of the American Rolling Mill company. William H. Gillispie re- 
ceived his early education in the public schools of Springboro and 
was about fifteen years of age when he accompanied his parents to 
Middletown. Here he completed his literary training, and began his 
independent career as a worker in the American Rolling mill. By 
degrees he advanced in position till he became a roller, a position in 
which he is known as a dependable and thoroughly efficient work- 
man. Mr. Gillispie was married June 22, 1910, to Miss Hlva Florence 
Smith, who was born August 23, 1883, in Butler county, and a grad- 
uate of the Amanda High school. After taking a course at the Nor- 
mal college at Lebanon, and Oxford college, she was engaged in 
teaching school for eight years prior to her marriage. She is a bright 
and intelligent woman of pleasing and amiable disposition and has 
numerous friends in Middletown. Her father, Peter Smith, is still 
residing on the old homestead on Yankee road, Butler county, where 
her mother passed away June 30, 1918. Mr. and Mrs. Gillispie are 
the owners of a comfortalale home on Yankee road and are faithful 
members of the Methodist church. He is a Republican in his politi- 
cal views, and fraternizes with the Junior Order of United American 
Mechanics. 

G. R. Gilmore is a native son of Butler county, a representative 
of one of its old and well known families, as well as a constructive 
farmer and stock grower. Mr. Gilmore was born in Fairfield town- 
ship, Butler county, October 19, 1859, and is a son of Jeremiah and 
Susan (Hopper) Gilmore, the former of whom was born in Fairfield 
township, and the latter a native of the state of Delaware. William 
Gilmore, grandfather of G. R., was born and reared in Ireland, and 
became one of the very early settlers of Butler county, coming to 
this country January 8, 1808. He was numbered among the earliest 
of the settlers of Fairfield township, where he reclaimed a farm from 
the forest wilds, and eventually became one of the extensive land- 
holders of the county. At one time he was the owner of 750 acres of 
land in Fairfield township, and here he continued his farm enterprise 
until the time of his death. Jeremiah Gilmore was reared to man- 
hood in Fairfield township and long continued his successful service 
as one of the substantial and representative farmers of Fairfield 
township, where he was the owner of a well improved place of 115 
acres and where he now is a revered member of the family circle of 
his son G. R., of this review, while his wife is deceased. Of the eight 
children five are living: Mertie, Josie, James B., G. R., and George. 
G. R. Gilmore early became familiar with the various duties in- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 255 

volved in the work of the old home farm, and in the meanwhile he 
profited by the advantages ofifered in the district schools of his na- 
tive township. He continued to be associated with the work and 
management of the old homestead until the retirement of his father, 
when he assumed full control, which he has since retained. His 
operations are carried forward on a tract of 115 acres and he gives 
his attention to diversified agriculture and the raising of live stock. 
For seven years he operated the place primarily as a dairy farm, but 
at the expiration of this period he disposed of his dairy herd and re- 
sumed general farming operations. He was also an active partici- 
pant in all activities relating to the World war. His political al- 
legiance is given to the Republican party, and fraternally he is 
affiliated with the Tribe of Ben Hur, and he attends and supports 
the Methodist Episcopal church, of which his wife is an active mem- 
ber. In 1884 Mr. Gilmore married Miss Emma Slofifner, and they 
have three children : Cornelia is the wife of Charles Guilland, and 
they have one child, Emma Jane ; Grace is the wife of Raymond 
Gates, and they have three children, Gordon, Raymond and Cather- 
ine ; Sorgen, youngest of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore, re- 
mains at home and is his father's assistant in the work and manage- 
ment of the farm. 

David Gingerich. Among the progressive business men of But- 
ler county should be numbered David Gingerich, who has been iden- 
tified with contracting at Middletown since 1903. In his special line 
of business he has met with marked success and by the energy and 
zeal which he has manifested has won the confidence, esteem and 
patronage of the public. Mr. Gingerich was born at Jacksonboro, 
Butler county, Ohio, in 1879, a son of Christian and Mary (Miller) 
Gingerich, the former a native of Pennsylvania who came to Butler 
county as a young man. The district schools of Butler county and 
the public school at Jacksonboro furnished Mr. Gingerich with his 
educational advantages, and his boyhood and youth were passed in 
an agricultural community, although he did not decide on farming 
when he chose his life career. Instead, he turned his attention to 
the educator's profession, and for two terms taught school in Butler 
county, but this period was sufficient to assure him of the fact that 
teaching was not his forte, and he accordingly sought another ave- 
nue of endeavor in which to work his way to substantial position. 
The business of contracting in a fast growing community seemed to 
offer opportunities, and as he had some knowledge which fitted him 
for this business he embarked therein in a small way, and in 1903 
came to Middletown. Here he had gradually enlarged the scope of 
his activities and the volume of his business until he is one of the 
leading men in contracting in all kinds of brick, stone and frame 
work. He has numerous large structures to his credit, and has con- 
tributed materially to the upbuilding of the community. Mr. 
Gingerich is the owner of a fine home, located in the Maple Park 
addition. He was married in 1901 to Clara, daughter of Samuel and 
Mary (Barr) Morningstar, and to this union there have been born 
four children : Ralph, a resident of Middletown ; and Roy, Mildred 
and Walter, at home. Mr. Gingerich is a Democrat, but is inclined 



256 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

to be liberal in his views and is not active as a party man. However, 
he has been helpful and constructive in his work as a citizen, partic- 
ularly in the way of educational affairs, as he has been a member of 
the school board for seven years, and was mainly instrumental in 
securing the installation and erection of the new school building at 
Middletown. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Masons and the 
Knights of Pythias, and he and the members of his family belong to 
the Baptist church. 

George P. Gingerich holds secure prestige as one of the leading 
contractors and builders in the city of Middletown, where he has 
been established in business since 1903 and where his extensive 
operations as a contractor have included the erection of many of the 
finest residences that have been here built within that period, be- 
sides which he has erected a number of modern business structures 
and public buildings. In connection with his contracting enterprise 
he retains a large force of employees, including a number of highly 
skilled artisans, and he has amplified his activities by engaging also 
in the manufacture of cement blocks for concrete building construc- 
tion. He has accumulated valuable real estate in Middletown, and 
is one of the city's substantial business men, with a reputation that 
constitutes a valuable business and social asset. As a young man 
Mr. Gingerich was actively identified with farm industry, from 
which he deflected himself to learn the carpenter's trade, and this 
vocation naturally led him eventually into independent contracting 
business — a line of enterprise through which he has gained inde- 
pendence and substantial prosperity. He has served as a member 
of the election board at Middletown, but other than this has not 
touched political service, though he is arrayed as a stalwart in the 
local camp of the Democratic party and is liberal and progressive 
as a citizen. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, in which order he has served for many years as trustee at 
Middletown, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and 
the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Mr. Gingerich was born in Butler 
county, Ohio, May 21, 1869, and is a son of Christopher and Mary 
Jane (Miller) Gingerich, the former a native of Pennsylvania and 
the latter of Jacksonboro, Ohio. Of the eight children, the firstborn, 
John, died in infancy ; Elizabeth is the wife of Christopher Schubert, 
of Hamilton, Ohio; Clement V. resides at Westwood, a suburb of 
the city of Cincinnati ; Ellen is the wife of Joseph Randall, of Jack- 
sonboro, Ohio; George Pendleton, subject of this review, was the 
next in order of birth; Eliza is the wife of Solomon Hill, of Middle- 
town; Mima is the wife of Charles Long, of the same city; and 
David likewise resides at Middletown. March 21, 1892, recorded 
the marriage of Mr. Gingerich to Miss Daisy Lanier, daughter of 
William and Eleanor (Harris) Lanier, who are venerable and hon- 
ored residents of Middletown and whose children are six in number : 
Minnie is the wife of Charles Brown, of Richmond, Ind. ; Daisy is 
the wife of the subject of this review ; Thomas M. and Edward re- 
side in the city of Cincinnati ; Ada is the wife of William Kasseman, 
of Middletown, where resides also Eva, who is the wife of Grover 
Selby. Mr. and Mrs. Gingerich have two sons : Earl, who was born 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 257 

January 4, 1902, is a student in the Middletown High school, in 1919; 
and Glenn, who was born October 31, 1906, is attending the graded 
schools. 

S. S. Glasgow, a native Ohioan and a highly respected citizen, 
and who is now living in comfortable retirement after many years 
of connection with business and agricultural interests, was born in 
Adams county, Ohio, June 4, 1851, a son of William B. Glasgow, a 
native of the same community. This is an old and honored family of 
Scotland, from which the city of Glasgow derives its name, and Mr. 
Glasgow's grandfather was one of three brothers to emigrate from 
that country to America at an early date, all of whom, however, 
spelled their names differently. The grandfather located in Rock- 
bridge county, W. Va., and later went to Adams county, Ohio, and 
became a pioneer settler and later the owner of a large tract of land. 
He and his wife were the parents of the following children : Polly, 
who became the wife of John Williams; Becky, who married a Mr. 
Ralston ; Rose, who also married a Mr. Ralston ; Margaret, who mar- 
ried Robert P. McClure, a captain in the Ohio State Militia ; Eliza, 
who married William P. Breckenridge, a pioneer of Adams county, 
who is remembered as a great church worker and possessor of a 
wonderful singing voice which he used to good advantage in the 
early days in his religious work; Robert A., a farmer of Adams 
county, and a pioneer breeder of Red Polled cattle ; Arthur, who 
went to California over the plains as a "forty-niner" and met with 
great success in his search for gold, but when returning home was 
drowned ; and William B. William B. Glasgow was educated in 
the common schools of Adams county, and passed his life as a 
farmer, a vocation in which he gained success, becoming the owner 
of several valuable properties. His first wife died without issue, and 
he married for his second wife Maria H. Mclntire, of Adams county, 
who died in 1859. They became the parents of the following chil- 
dren : Mary Jane, who married J. J. Kane, of Brown county, Ohio ; 
Dr. Joseph Anderson, now a retired resident of Seaman, Ohio, since 
1914, in early life a teacher, and a graduate, 1878, of the Cincinnati 
Medical college, who for fifteen years was engaged in practice in 
Highland county ; Robert, deceased ; Mary Elizabeth, who married 
J. G. Williams of Seaman, Ohio ; William Arthur, who died at the 
age of twenty-two years; and S. S., of this notice. During the days 
that preceded the Civil war, William B. Glasgow was a strong op- 
ponent of slavery, and was a member of the Underground Railway. 
He was a Republican in his political views, but in the latter years of 
his life was inclined toward the Prohibition party because of his 
unalterable belief in temperance. While he lived to the age of 
ninety-one years he had never taken a drink of liquor nor entered a 
saloon, nor had he ever sworn or used tobacco. Satisfied with his 
home surroundings, he did not care for travel, and it is said that he 
never rode on a railroad train in his life. He and the members of his 
family were staunch members of the United Presbyterian church. 
S. S. Glasgow received his education in the public schools of his na- 
tive community and resided at home, assisting his father, until his 
marriage, April 7, 1881, to Lathie E. McClure, of Vernon, Ky. Three 



258 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

children have been born to this union : Marion M., who graduated 
from high school at the age of eleven years, and later secured a 
teacher's license, went to the county seat alone and earned the money 
to pay his own hotel bill, entered Miami university in 1900 and re- 
ceived his degree of Bachelor of Arts, August 8, 1904, went to Chi- 
cago and secured a position with Sears, Roebuck & company, was 
subsequently with the Western Electric company and the Bagdad 
Lumber company as an expert accountant and head bookkeeper for 
five years, and for the past five years with the American Lumber 
company of Panama City, Fla., is a Mason and a member of the 
Presbyterian church ; Grace G., residing with her parents, a graduate 
of Miami university, class of 1907, took the chair of French at the 
Women's college, Jacksonville, 111., and remained three years, when 
her mother's health failing, she returned home, occasionally teach- 
ing as an extra ; and William Wellington, a graduate of Miami uni- 
versity, went to Chicago, where he was with the Western Electric 
company and Shaw Walker & company, and is now at St. Paul, 
Minn., with the Library Bureau company. He married Gladys 
Jones of Chicago, 111., and has one child, Grace Marie. After his 
marriage, S. S. Glasgow settled down in Adams county and remained 
until 1898, being engaged in farming, saw milling and operating a 
threshing outfit. He then went to Marion, where for three years he 
was a salesman for the Huber Manufacturing company, and later 
traveled through Ohio and Iowa as a representative for the Inter- 
national Harvester company. Returning to Adams county, he 
farmed and dealt in implements for two years, and following this 
bought a farm in Oxford township, Butler county, which he con- 
ducted and operated five years. At that time he took up his resi- 
dence at No. 422 E. Church street, and for four years thereafter 
traveled for the J. I. Case Manufacturing company in Ohio, Virginia, 
Kentucky and South Dakota. After three years spent in the latter 
state, he retired from active labor and has since resided in his 
comfortable home at Oxford. Mr. Glasgow has always been a pub- 
lic-spirited citizen and during a period of five years acted as street 
commissioner in Oxford, an office to which he was elected on the Re- 
publican ticket. He is a faithful member of the Presbyterian church, 
having been reared in the teachings thereof, and has reared his own 
children in that faith. Both he and his wife are held in the warmest 
regard by their neighbors and friends. 

Christian Goldsmith, a retired agriculturist of Collinsville, Ohio, 
is rounding out a long and useful life, and although now not engaged 
in active labors, can turn memory's pages, decade after decade, and 
note the development of state and nation, having just reason to take 
pride in the fact that he has done his part in paving the way to the 
advantages and privileges enjoyed by the present generation. 
Christian Goldsmith belongs to one of the early settled families of 
Butler county, Ohio, having been born in Lemon township, June 29, 
1837, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth Goldsmith, natives of France. 
The parents came to the United States as single young people and 
were married in Pennsylvania, from whence they went to Upper 
Canada and remained for seven years. On their return to the United 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 259 

States they located in St. Clair township, Butler county, going 
thence to Lemon township, where the father engaged in farming 
ventures. Hearing the call of the West, in 1847 Joseph Goldsmith 
drove through to Lee county, Iowa, where he rented land and was 
subsequently joined by his family. Eventually he moved to Henry 
county, Iowa, where his death occurred in 1876, at the age of eighty 
years, his widow surviving him until 1900, when she passed away 
at the advanced age of ninety years, three months. Joseph Gold- 
smith was one of the early preachers of the Mennonite church and 
was always active in church work. They were the parents of twelve 
children : John, Catherine and Lydia, all deceased ; Benjamin, a 
resident of Henry county, Iowa; Joseph, who died in 1912; Peter 
and Elizabeth, both deceased ; Christian ; Jacob and Anna, twins, 
residing in Henry county ; Fannie, deceased, also of that county ; 
and Magdalena, living in Henry county, Iowa. Like his brothers 
and sisters, Christian Goldsmith had but little opportunity to gain 
an education, but made the most of his chances and since his boy- 
hood has been a close observer and reader, so that today he is an in- 
telligent man, with a knowledge of important subjects that could not 
be gleaned merely from the study of school books. He remained 
with his parents until 1860, in which year he returned to Butler 
county, Ohio, with his brother Joseph, and took up the business of 
threshing, an occupation which he followed year by year, from 1861 
to 1915. After his marriage, in 1866, he located at Overpeck, Ohio, 
and later moved to Milford township, where he engaged in farming 
for some years and where he still owns a property of 115 acres in 
section 16. From 1875 to 1914 he also owned and operated a sawmill, 
but in 1915 retired from active pursuits and since then has been re- 
siding in his comfortable and attractive home which he erected at 
Collinsville. Mr. Goldsmith is a democratic voter, and his religious 
connection is with the Mennonite church at Trenton. Despite his 
eighty-two years, he is well preserved and has a splendid memory, 
which he exercises in an entertaining way for the benefit of his 
numerous friends who are always attentive listeners to his reminis- 
cences of the early days. October 22, 1866, Mr. Goldsmith was mar- 
ried to Barbara, daughter of John and Barbara (Slaughter) Slonaker, 
natives of Pennsylvania and pioneers of Milford township. Mr. 
Slonaker died at the remarkable age of ninety-six years and his wife 
when eighty-six years old, both in the faith of the Mennonite church. 
They had six children : Mary, deceased, who was the wife of the late 
John Unsicker; Mrs. Goldsmith, who died February 23, 1914; 
Fannie, the wife of Jacob Urz, of Collinsville ; John, of Trenton, 
Ohio ; Kate, who married Christian Ummel, of Trenton ; and Joseph, 
of Hamilton. To Mr. and Mrs. Goldsmith there were born the fol- 
lowing children : Levi, a thresher and sawmill man of Collinsville, 
who married December 30, 1912, Estella Koffer, of Preble county, 
and has three children, Howard C, Chester S. and Richard Lee; 
Elmer, formerly a teacher, who went to conduct a newspaper at 
Petoskey, Mich., and there died, leaving a widow, who had been 
Katie Somers ; Salina, the wife of Edgar Wykopp, of Burlington, 
Iowa, who has had three sons, Carl, Chester, deceased, and Elmer; 



aflO MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Oscar, single, who at the age of eighteen years enlisted in the United 
States Regular Army for three years, at Baltimore, Md., and at the 
expiration of his first term of service, re-enlisted for another three 
years ; and Anna, the wife of Clay Klopp, proprietor of a grain el- 
evator at Camden, Ohio. 

Frederick E. Goldsmith. Industry puts an entirely new face 
upon the productions of nature. By labor man has subjugated the 
world, reduced it to his dominion, and clothed the earth with a new 
garment. The first rude plow that man thrust into the soil, the first 
rude axe of stone with which he felled its pine, the first rude canoe 
scooped by him from its trunk to cross the river and reach the 
greener fields beyond, were each the outcome of a human faculty 
which brought within his reach some physical comfort he had never 
enjoyed before. From the earliest times, invention has played a 
great and important part in the advancement of civilization, and 
today industry and its development are largely dependent upon the 
genius of men whose fertile minds evolve new methods and intricate 
machinery which serve to do away with unnecessary labor and add 
to the comforts and benefit of mankind. In the Miami valley, one 
whose inventions have led him to a position of recognized importance 
and prominence is Frederick E. Goldsmith, of Middletown, president 
of the Ceramic Machine Tool company and of the Columbia Ma- 
chine and Tool company, of Hamilton. Mr. Goldsmith was born on 
a farm in Milford township, Butler county, Ohio, a son of Joseph M. 
and Magdalena (Kensinger) Goldsmith, farming people who passed 
their entire lives at their country place in Milford township. The 
father retired and moved to Hamilton, where he died in 1908 at the 
age of seventy-six years, and the mother in 1910, when seventy-one 
years of age. They were the parents of nine children, of whom 
seven are living : Mary ; Frederick E. ; Samuel, of Hamilton ; Cath- 
erine, who married O. N. Black of Hamilton ; Luella, who married 
A. G. Banks of Dayton ; Elizabeth, who married Frank B. Yingling 
of Hamilton ; Florence, who married Frederick Carnahan, who is 
deceased, of Colorado. Frederick Goldsmith attended the public 
schools at Seven Mile and resides at home and assisted his father 
until he reached the age of eighteen years. From early youth he 
exhibited a genius for fashioning improvements on the farm machin- 
ery, and this inventive genius led him to be discontented with the 
prosaic surroundings of the rural atmosphere, he eventually leaving 
home to seek his fortune through the medium of his inventions. 
During his career he has traveled extensively, not only throughout 
the United States, but all over Europe, in the interests of his inven- 
tions, and at the present time he is the owner of many valuable 
patents and has the credit for some of the most ingenious machinery 
that has ever been put on the market. Naturally, his inventions 
have led him into association with other business men in large busi- 
ness concerns, for Mr. Goldsmith, unlike many inventors, is also of 
a practical turn of mind and is possessed of excellent business capac- 
ity. While his home has been at Middletown, where he has had a 
modern residence at No. 709 S. Main street, since January, 1916, a 
large part of his interests are centered at Hamilton, where, as noted. 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 261 

he is president of the Ceramic Machinery company and of the Colum- 
bia Machine & Tool company. His standing in business circles is 
that which can only be acquired by a man of high principle and un- 
faltering integrity, while his social and fraternal connections are 
numerous and important. Mr. Goldsmith married Sarah Abbie, 
daughter of David and Sarah (Smith) Gruber, who were residents 
of near Millville, Ohio, the former a native of Indiana, and the latter 
of Clermont county, Ohio. Mr. Gruber died in 1867, aged forty- 
eight years, his widow surviving until June 18, 1907, when »he passed 
away in the faith of the Presbyterian church, at the advanced age of 
eighty-six years. Of their twelve children, four are living: Emma, 
of Middletown ; Martha E., who married John Burcky, of that city ; 
Jane, the widow of Paul J. Sorg, also of Middletown ; and Mrs. Gold- 
smith. Mrs. Goldsmith is a faithful member of the Baptist church, 
and Mr. Goldsmith is a Methodist. They have numerous friends at 
Middletown, who are always made welcome at the pleasant and 
attractive Goldsmith home, situated at No. 709 S. Main street. 

Gustave M. Goldsmith. An identification with a concern of 
prominence and importance in the business world is always taken as 
evidence of general worth and executive capacity, and, such being 
the case, Gustave M. Goldsmith may be noted as one of the sub- 
stantial and capable business citizens of Hamilton. Coming to 
Hamilton in 1905, he has since been connected with the Mosler Safe 
company, of which concern he is now vice-president. Mr. Gold- 
smith was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1883, a son of Max S. and 
Dora Goldsmith, residents of Cincinnati. Max S. Goldsmith has 
long been prominently known in business circles of Cincinnati as a 
substantial manufacturer, and at this time is president of the Gold- 
smith Metal Lath company. There were two children in the family : 
William M., of Cincinnati, secretary and treasurer of the Goldsmith 
Metal Lath company; and Gustave M. Gustave M. Goldsmith at- 
tended the public schools of Cincinnati, and after his graduation 
from the high school went to Cornell university, from which insti- 
tution he was graduated in 1905. Mr. Goldsmith has a wide ac- 
quaintance in manufacturing circles of Hamilton and other cities, 
has the full confidence of his associates as a man of marked capacity 
and thorough business knowledge, and in his daily transactions has 
exemplified the possession of high principles and a strict code of 
business honor. He was married in March, 1907, to Alma Meyer, 
born at Chicago, 111. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Goldsmith : Dorothy, aged ten years ; and Gustave M., jr., aged six 
years. The family residence of the Goldsmiths, a handsome home, 
is located at No. 154 N. Ninth street, and is the scene of many social 
gatherings, where Mr. and Mrs. Goldsmith extend the most gra- 
cious hospitality to their many friends. Mr. Goldsmith is a member 
of the Hamilton club, the Butler County Country club and the Ham- 
ilton Chamber of Commerce, and has a number of civic connections. 
He has not entered actively into public life, but has always been a 
staunch supporter of movements which have been constructive and 
beneficial. 

Fred W. Goos, one of the most progressive farmers of Butler 



262 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

county, son of Fred and Catherine (Hartmann) Goes, was born in 
Germany, the oldest of a family of eight children: Fred W., our 
subject; Anna, Mrs. William Krauth ; Katherine, Mrs. O. Schlichter ; 
William ; Marie, Mrs. Albert Hermann ; Richard ; Albert ; Elsie, Mrs. 
William Lipp. In 1987, Fred Goos, the father, brought his entire 
family, including Fred W., then quite a lad, to this country and first 
settled in Hamilton, Ohio, but after a residence of several years 
there, removed to a farm in Ross township, Butler county, where 
his death occurred in July, 1919. The mother still occupies the 
home farm. Fred W. received his education in both Germany and 
this country at Hamilton, and thus had some advantages in that re- 
gard not generally the privilege of the average young person. In 
Germany, also, he learned engineering, and for some time while liv- 
ing in Hamilton was employed in the capacity of engineer by the 
Benninghofen company. In 1906 he was married to Mary Heynter- 
meister, daughter of Samuel Heyntermeister. Her parents were of 
Swiss nativity, but the death of the father having occurred in Switz- 
erland, the widow and children came to make their home in the 
United States. To Mr. and Mrs. Goos, have been born four chil- 
dren : Richard, Elinore, Margaret and Helen. Soon after his mar- 
riage, Mr. Goos moved to a farm of 174 acres in Ross township, 
Butler county, and engaged in the active life of a farmer. This 
farm was known as the John Wilcox place, and then belonged to 
Mr. Goos's father, but as a result of diligent application and careful 
management, it is now the sole property of the son and one of the 
best and most productive farms in Butler county. Mr. Goos is a 
member of a family whose standing in the community is of the very 
highest. He is himself very active in any undertaking that tends in 
any way to advance public interests, and during the World war was 
one of the most energetic and untiring leaders in important activi- 
ties. He is a successful man, and that success has been achieved 
through his own indefatigable efiforts. In church relationship, Mr. 
Goos is a Lutheran and a member of St. Paul's congregation. 

Richard F. Goos. Although he was born in Germany and spent 
the first eleven years of his life there, Richard F. Goos, a prominent 
young farmer of Ross township, Butler county, Ohio, demonstrated 
his loyalty to the United States during the recent World war by 
participating in movements that would promote the best interests of 
the Allies and by subscribing liberally for Liberty bonds, and from 
the first day that he landed in this country as a young boy he has 
manifested a deep interest in the welfare of the country and since 
reaching maturity has done everything in his power to make himself 
a useful citizen. He was born in Weinheim Baden, Germany, May 
12, 1883, the fourth child in a family of five of Frederick and Cath- 
erine (Hartmann) Goos, who were also natives of that country. The 
father was a miller and as he had heard much of the United States 
and the excellent opportunities for obtaining employment-in his line 
of endeavor, in 1894 he decided to move his family to this country, 
and after arriving in the United States he located in Hamilton, Ohio, 
where he worked for Crout and Benninghofen and later took up 
farming near Lindenwald, which he continued for a time with sue- 




WILLIAM C. GOSHORN 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 263 

cess. The opportunity of purchasing an attractive farm of 180 acres 
in St. Clair township, Ohio, presented itself and he took advantage 
of this, buying and occupying this property for about twelve years, 
when he purchased another farm of 120 acres, also in St. Clair town- 
ship and remained here until his death in July, 1919. These two 
ventures from a financial standpoint proved decidedly successful and 
he became known to other agriculturists for some years as a man 
who had a thorough knowledge of farming and one who was equally 
well versed in farm values, and in addition to crop raising he was 
engaged quite extensively in cattle raising and dairying, these fea- 
tures to good advantage. He was a devout communicant of St. 
Paul's church of Hamilton, Ohio. The children, besides Richard F. 
were : Frederick, who is occupying his father's old place in St. Clair 
township, and who married Mary Heyntermeister, they having four 
children : Richard, Elinore, Margaret, and Helen ; Anna, who mar- 
ried William Krauth, a well known agriculturist of St. Clair town- 
ship ; Katherine, who is the wife of Oscar Schlichter, an agriculturist 
of Hanover township, Ohio, and whose family consists of Frederick, 
Elenore and Elsie ; Marie, who is the wife of Albert Hermann and 
who lives with her husband and two children near Hamilton, Ohio ; 
and Albert. The latter is living on the old homestead with his 
mother. Richard F. attended the schools in Ross township and lived 
at the old home until his marriage in 1911 to Louise Munsfeldt of 
Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. He had made two visits to the Father- 
land and was married during his second trip. On his return to the 
United States he was associated in farming for two years with his 
brother Frederick and accumulated sufficient means to purchase his 
present productive farm of 161 acres in Ross township. This was 
known as the old Killian place. All of this tract is under cultivation, 
with the exception of about twenty-five acres. He has twenty-seven 
head of excellent Holstein cattle. He also raises hogs and does a 
general farming business. Adhering to the religious belief of his 
parents with the same admirable devotion he is a m-ember of St. 
Paul's church of Hamilton, Ohio. He is the father of four children : 
William, Richard, Alfreda, Gertrude and Ernest. He has never 
identified himself with any political party, being an independent 
voter and prepared to support at all times men whom he feels are 
best suited to hold public office. 

William C. Goshorn. For a period of nearly sixty-five years, 
members of one family have superintended Greenwood cemetery, 
Hamilton. Since 1855, when Andrew J. Goshorn was appointed, the 
superintendency has been in the Goshorn name, and during the past 
quarter of a century William C. Goshorn has been the incumbent of 
this honored position. It is worthy of note that in all this time not 
the slightest dissatisfaction has been expressed, an unusual condi- 
tion of affairs where a more or less public service of this length of 
time has been rendered. William C. Goshorn was born on the site 
of the residence in which he now lives at Hamilton, March 21. 1855, 
and is the only surviving child of Andrew J. and Sarah J. (Clements) 
Goshorn. His parents were natives of Huntingdon countv. Pa., the 
father born June 14, 1819, and the mother Januarv 26, 1821. and ac- 



264 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

companied their respective families to Ohio, the Goshorns coming 
in 1849, and the Clements in 1837. The parents were married at 
Hamilton, June 24. 1849, and established their own home, and soon 
after this Andrew J. Goshorn secured employment at his trade of 
tanner in the business of John W. Sohn, with whom he remained 
about six years. February 7, 1855, Mr. Goshorn received the ap- 
pointment as superintendent of Greenwood cemetery, upon the 
recommendation of one Dr. Cyrus Falconer, being the third to hold 
this position. His ensuing service extended over a period of forty 
years, continuing until the day of his death, March 21, 1894, which. 
by a strange coincidence, was his son's thirty-ninth birthday. At 
the time that Mr. Goshorn took charge, there had been but 828 in- 
terments ; at the close of his forty years of service there had been 
9,094. During his administration the size of the cemetery grounds 
had been increased from twenty-one to sixty-seven acres. The great 
attendance at his funeral, representing people from every walk in 
life, gave evidence of the high esteem in which he was held at Ham- 
ilton and in the surrounding country. He was a staunch Republican 
in politics, but had no lodge affiliations. He and Mrs. Goshorn were 
members of the United Presbyterian church. Following her hus- 
band's death she went to live with her son, William C, at whose 
home she resided until her own demise, September 15, 1904. Of the 
six children in the family, four died in infancy and one at the age of 
twenty-four years, William C. Goshorn received a good educational 
training in the public schools of Hamilton, and when his studies were 
completed became his father's assistant in cemetery work. He suc- 
ceeded to the elder man's position at his death, because of his natural 
aptitude for that work and his years of training therein, and was 
appointed to the superintendency without comment or question. His 
work as superintendent during a period of twenty-five years has 
been of a character that has won for him high commendation, a 
conscientious service that has gained him public friendships, con- 
fidence and gratitude. Mr. Goshorn married Miss Laura J. Tiddler, 
a daughter of Samuel and Catherine Tiddler, early settlers of Hamil- 
ton, who had six children, of whom three survive. Mr. and Mrs. 
Goshorn have had five children, of whom three survive, all having 
been well educated in the Hamilton public schools. They are : Lou 
B., who is the wife of Charles Eiver, of Hamilton, but a resident of 
Jennings, La. ; Ida M., the wife of Harry B. Rogers, of Delaware, 
Ohio, with three sons and two daughters ; and Miss Sadie, who still 
lives with her parents at No. 1123 Heaton street, her father's most 
capable and energetic assistant, who thoroughly understands the 
work of handling the cemetery and is able to take full charge when 
her father is ill or away on business. Mr. Goshorn is a Republican. 
Fred E. and Frank H. Graf. The invention of the automobile 
and its development into its utilization as one of the most important 
factors in our twentieth-century commercial and social life, has 
created an entirely new industry, the possibilities of which are not 
even yet fully appreciated. More and more, of recent years, have 
men of strong individuality, keen intelligence, firm determination, 
entered this business, either as manufacturers or dealers, and in the 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 265 

latter category, at Hamilton, are found Fred E. and Frank H. Graf, 
who, doing business under the firm style of Graf Brothers, have won 
notable success and overcome several serious commercial misfor- 
tunes. They are sons of Henry B. and Ella S. Graf, the latter a 
native of Butler county, Ohio, and the former of Indiana. Henry B. 
Graf was educated in the public schools of his native state, after 
which he engaged in and followed the foundry business at Hamil- 
ton as foreman of the firm known as H. P. Duscher company. In 
1898 the family, consisting of the parents and two sons, the only 
daughter having died in infancy, moved to Miamisburg, Ohio, where 
the father engaged in the brewery business and remained therein 
seven years. He is now retired from active affairs and he is a resi- 
dent of Miamisburg. Mr. Graf was a member formerly of the board 
of public service at Miamisburg, is a prominent Democrat, and be- 
longs to the lodges of the Elks and Knights of Pythias. Frank H. 
Graf was born August 30, 1887, at Hamilton and received good edu- 
cational advantages, attending the graded schools at Miamisburg, 
high school at Dayton, and a business college in the latter city. Fol- 
lowing the completion of his studies he secured employment with the 
Peckham Garage at Dayton, and subsequently was identified with 
the Speedwell Motor Car company, and in 1910 embarked in busi- 
ness on his own account at the Gem City. Returning some time 
later to Hamilton he established himself in business as an automo- 
bile dealer in one room, at Third and Market streets, but subse- 
quently moved to the Morey building, and entered into partnership 
with John Lever. When the Morey building was destroyed by fire, 
the partnership was mutually dissolved and Mr. Graf embarked in 
business for himself at No. 321 Market street. In the fall of 1913 he 
went to Second and Market streets, where he went into business 
under the style of Graf Motor Car company, but this business was 
hardly established before the great flood came, damaging the stock 
to the extent of $10,000. But later the business was moved to its 
present location at B. & O. and Walnut streets, where the enter- 
prise is now rated at about $45,000. The firm handles Cole, Nash 
and Maxwell cars and does painting and all kinds of repairing. The 
brothers are rated high in the business world as men of integrity and 
ability, and have built up a good business solely through their own 
efforts and perseverance. November 11, 1909, Frank H. Graf mar- 
ried Anna Hazel Dill, of Dayton, granddaughter of T. C. Lindsey, a 
prominent jeweler and real estate operator of that city, who erected 
and owns the Lindsey building there. Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Graf are 
the parents of one child: Robert, born in 1917. Fred E. Graf was 
born September 5, 1892, at Hamilton, and received his education in 
the graded and high schools of Miamisburg. He was variously em- 
ployed, principally in the automobile industry, until 1915, at which 
time he entered into business with his brother as a member of the 
firm. He was married December 22, 1917, to Viola G., daughter of 
Ernest W. and Ophelia Bringhurst. Mr. Bringhurst was formerly 
engaged in business at St. Louis, but at this time is general manager 
of the George Wiedmann Brewing company, at Hamilton. The 
Graf brothers are Democratic voters, but have found little time to 



266 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

devote to public affairs, their interest having been engrossed by 
their business. They are members of the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks and are popular with their fellow lodge members. 

John A. GrafFt, M. D. Among the most reliable and successful 
medical practitioners of Hamilton is found Dr. John A. Grafft, who 
has also been prominent in public and military life. A man of firm 
convictions and settled purpose, he is practical in his aims, whether 
as physician or citizen, and thereby has advanced steadily to a high 
and substantial professional position, having been effective also in 
the realization of several projects which have been promulgated in 
conjunction with other good citizens of modern tendencies. Born 
at Jacksonboro, Butler county, Ohio, November 28, 1866, Doctor 
Grafft belongs to an old and honored family, the first member of 
which to come to America was Hans Grafft, a native of Holland, who 
emigrated to Maryland shortly after the close of the American 
Revolution and became a large land owner and slave holder. 
Later the family migrated to Virginia and descendants of that 
branch went to Nelson county, Ky., where, at Bardstown, Abraham 
Grafft, the great-grandfather of Doctor Grafft, located in 1800 near 
what is now Seven Mile, Butler county. Samuel Grafft, the father of 
the Doctor, was born on a farm near Seven Mile, October 19, 1841, 
and there passed a long and honorable career as an agriculturist. 
He married Margaret, daughter of Lot Abraham, of Mt. Pleasant. 
Iowa, and they became the parents of two children : John A. ; and 
Mary, who became the wife of Arthur Hunter. John A. Grafft re- 
-^eived his early education in the country schools" of Butler county, 
and^in 1882 entered Miami university for a two-year course. In 
1885 he enrolled as a student at Wooster university, from which 
institution he received the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1889, 
and in that same year took up his medical studies at the Miami 
Medical college, Cincinnati, Ohio, being given his degree as a 
member of the class of 1892. For a short time thereafter he prac- 
tised at Cincinnati, but subsequently moved to Hamilton, where, 
with the exception of eighteen months passed at Seven Mile, Ohio, 
and the period of his army service, he has since been located, in 
the enjoyment of a practice that has grown steadily and satisfyingly 
in both size and importance with the passing of the years and the 
recognition of his splendid abilities and talents. Doctor Grafft, 
in a desire to aid his country, filed his application for enlistment 
in the United States Army Medical Corps June 12, 1917, and was 
called to the colors July 1, 1918, reporting "to the Central Depart- 
ment, at Chicago. 111. Shortly thereafter he was assigned to the 
Post Hospital at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Ind., and 
then was sent to Camp Dodge, where he was assigned to the 163d 
De]iot Briga^le. He remained v/ith that organization for three 
weeks, when he was transferred to the 31st Medical Replacement 
Unit, with which he went overseas in September, 1918. After re- 
porting at Base Hospital No. 15, Chaumont, France, he was ordered 
by the commanding general to Evacuation Hospital No. 7, at 
Souilly, and then to Grand Pre in the Argonne. Later he went to 
Base Hospital 15, Chaumont, and subsequently to the commanding 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 267 

officer at St. Aignan, and from there to the commanding officer of 
the 27th Division, being assigned to the 107th Field Hospital. 
With that organization he remained until February 1, 1919, when he 
was sent to the American Embarkation Center, Le Mans, where 
he became Division Inspector and continued as such until March 
28, when he was assigned to duty at the A. E. F. university, Beaune, 
Department of Cote d'Or. Reassigned to the Allier Department, 
Saone-et-Loire, he sailed from Marseilles, June 16, 1919, on the 
Italian ship, "America," by the way of Gibraltar, and landed on 
American soil July 2. He received his honorable discharge as 
first lieutenant of the United States Medical Corps, July 28, and 
returned to resume his practice at Hamilton. Doctor Grafft is 
serving as president of the local pension board, having received 
this appointment while he was still in the service. He acted as a 
member of the Hamilton, Ohio, Pension Board from 1892-1897. 
On November 11, 1919, Doctor Graflft was commissioned captain 
in the Medical Section of the Reserve Corps of the United States 
Army. "All appointments are limited to discharged officers, to 
men of demonstrated fitness and gallantry in action, ***** with 
the exception of a small number who had been found qualified for 
special services and whose appointments were stopped by the 
Armistice. Advance in rank is not given unless appointee had been 
recommended for promotion, such recommendation having been 
initiated and on record in the Adjutant General's office prior to 
November 11, 1918." Doctor Graflft is a member of the American 
Legion, of the Butler County Medical society, the Ohio State 
Medical society, the American Medical association and the Asso- 
ciation of Military Surgeons of the U. S. A. He has always taken 
an active interest in civic affairs, and has been the incumbent of a 
number of official positions, having been president of the city council 
of Hamilton for two years. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the 
Masonic Blue Lodge, and he and the members of his family belong 
to the Presbyterian church. Doctor Graflft married Miss Jennie 
M. Beal, youngest daughter of the late John Timberman Beal and 
Rebecca (Carr) Beal, pioneer citizens of Butler county, who date 
their family back as far as 1660. They are the parents of one 
daughter : Marjorie, who graduated from Miami university with 
the class of 1919, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 

James G. Graflft, M. D. Among the prominent and successful 
medical practitioners of Butler county, one who has won merited 
distinction and position is Dr. James G. Grafft, who has been 
engaged in practice at Trenton for more than a quarter of a century. 
Not only does Doctor Grafft hold a recognized position because 
of his talent in a professional way, but because of his connection 
with one of the oldest of Butler county's families, which was 
founded here by Abram Grafft, of Maryland, who went early to 
Kentucky, and came to Wayne township, Butler county, in 1800. 
At that time this locality was a practical wilderness, overgrown 
with timber and brush, and the great-grandfather of Doctor Grafft 
took a prominent part in the early development of the section, 
clearing his entered farm and making a home for his family. 



268 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

He passed his life as a farmer, and died, honored and esteemed, 
on the property which he had secured from the Government. George 
P. Grafft, son of the pioneer, and grandfather of Doctor Grafift, was 
born in Wayne township, Butler county, Ohio, in 1804, grew up 
on the home place, and was a farmer all his life. He married Mary 
Ann Moorehead, and they became the parents of five children : 
Thomas, who met an accidental death in his youth ; Abram, the 
father of Dr. James G. ; Samuel, who was a farmer on the old home 
place and died in 1918; John W., who died on the old home place 
at the age of twenty-six years; and a daughter, the first born, who 
died when two and one-half years of age. Abram Grafft grew to 
manhood on the home farm and attended the old Cotton Run 
school, after leaving which he resumed farming until the outbreak 
of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Company G, 83d Regiment, 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at Jacksonboro, Ohio, August 30, 1862. 
His regiment was sent to Dayton and later into camp at Cincinnati, 
Ohio, subsequently going to Arkansas Post. Mr. Grafft was in 
the engagements of the Red River Expedition and the Siege of 
Vicksburg, and after a brave and faithful service was mustered out 
at Galveston, Texas. Returning home, the brave young soldier 
resumed farming, on the old home place, where he remained until 
his death in 1902, at the age of sixty-three years. He married 
Elizabeth James, of Franklin county, Ind., who died in 1885, his 
second wife being a widow, Mrs. Briggs, who died at Seven Mile, 
Ohio. Mr. Grafft was a lifelong Democrat, a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and was a man widely and favorably known 
in his community, where he had numerous warm friends. The only 
child of his parents, James G. Grafft was born at Seven Mile, Ohio, 
February 25, 1867. As a lad he attended school at Jacksonboro, 
where one of his schoolmates was James M. Cox, who later became 
governor of Ohio, and from 1885 to 1890 was a student at Wooster 
academy. In 1893 he was graduated from the Miami Medical col- 
lege, and at that time took up his practice at Trenton, which has 
since been his home and the scene of his marked professional 
success. He has a large and representative practice and stands 
high both in public confidence and in the esteem of his fellow- 
practitioners, who have recognized in him a man of medical and 
surgical skill and of the highest professional ethics. Doctor Grafft 
is now one of the owners of the old Grafft homestead, with Mrs. 
A. B. Hunter. In 1893, at the time of his graduation. Doctor 
Grafft was united in marriage with Lida Williamson, of Collinsville, 
Ohio, and they are the parents of three children : Helen, who at- 
tended Miami university for two years, and now the wife of A. L. 
Morner, of Trenton, Ohio, connected with the American Rolling 
Mill company, at Middletown ; Jane, who graduated from Miami 
university in 1918, and is now living at home and a teacher in the 
high schools of Monroe ; and Walter James, educated in the public 
schools and now at home, who was in the United States Navy for 
fifteen months, having enlisted December 3, 1917. Doctor Grafft 
has been variously identified with matters of importance at Trenton, 
professional, business and civic. For several years he was president 



BUTLER COUNTY-BIOGRAPHICAL 269 

of the Trenton bank. He has always taken a good deal of interest 
in the welfare of his city and county, and served as a member 
of the school board and the town council. In political adherence 
he is a Democrat. In Masonry, he belongs to the Blue Lodge at 
Middletown, the Chapter and Commandery at Hamilton and the 
Scottish Rite at Dayton. He and Mrs. Grafft are consistent mem- 
bers of the United Presbyterian church at Trenton. 

Moses Graft. Few men have enjoyed a wider acquaintance, 
and none have been held in higher respect and esteem, than the 
late Moses Graft, who was the proprietor of a grocery and dairy 
business at West Middletown for some years, and whose standing 
in commercial circles was of the highest. Mr. Graft was born at 
Middletown, Ohio, April 21, 1861, a son of John and Anna (Barnett) 
Graft. His father had come from Cincinnati, during the early '50s, 
and located on the Jim Sutphin farm, where he rounded out a long 
and honorable career as an agriculturist. Of his ten children, five 
still survive : John and Samuel, residents of Middletown ; William, 
of Hamilton ; Martha, the wife of Dave Lansing, of Middletown ; 
and Fannie, the wife of William Whitehead, of this city. Moses 
Graft was educated in the public schools and not long after his 
graduation from the Middletown High school entered upon his 
business career. He was known far and wide because of his splen- 
did traits of character, and his death, which occurred December 
25, 1918, caused deep and widespread sorrow among a wide circle 
of friends and acquaintances. February 21, 1881, Mr. Graft mar- 
ried Jennie, daughter of Charles and Sarah (Jarvis) Commer, who 
was born in Virginia and was a mere child when brought by her 
parents to Middletown. To this union there were born eight 
children: Stanley, who is deceased; Maude Ellen, the wife of Otis 
Bruce, of Middletown ; Pearl May, the wife of Wilbur Miller, of 
Middletown ; Gertrude, the wife of Clyde Mears, of Middletown ; 
Edward, who married Ellen Frye, and resides in this city ; Bertha 
Elizabeth, who is Mrs. Frank Thompson, of Middletown ; Robert, 
who married Zella Bryant; and Stella, who is deceased. Mrs. 
Graft, who is highly esteemed in West Middletown, still retains 
her home here, and finds comfort in visiting among her affectionate 
children. She is a devout member of the United Brethren church 
and has accomplished much good work of a religious and charitable 
nature. 

Arthur M. Grahcun, whose milling and elevator business has 
been one of the chief commercial factors of Oxford and vicinity 
since 1912, was born at Morning Sun, Preble county, Ohio, Novem- 
ber 16, 1873, a son of Thomas and Elmira (Bell) Graham, also 
natives of that county, and a grandson of pioneers of Israel town- 
ship, Preble county, who passed honorable lives in the pursuits of 
the soil. The parents are deceased and rest in Hopewell cemetery 
in Preble county. Their children were : Arthur M. ; Walter, who 
married Anna Bolmer and lives at Oxford, where he is connected 
with his brother's milling business ; and Jennie, the wife of Charles 
Elliot, who is employed at the mill at Oxford. Arthur M. Graham 
is indebted to the public schools of Oxford for his educational 



270 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

training. When he put aside his school books, it was to accept a 
position as a farmhand with R. M. Wilson, and when he reached 
his majority he embarked upon an agricultural career of his own. 
The farm, however, held him only for seven years, as he was inclined 
to follow a commercial life, and in 1901 he came to Oxford and 
entered into the milling business as a packer in the Oxford Roller 
mills. Rapid promotion followed and he became thoroughly 
familiar with every department of the business while rising to the 
position of miller. In 1912 he became associated in business with 
William W. Essley and Cecil Pulse. The mill has a capacity of 
100 barrels, and its product, the Miami Milling Company's Best 
Patent, an exceedingly popular brand, has a large sale throughout 
this locality. Mr. Graham's standing in business circles is one that 
gives him prestige and marked preferment, and he is held in the 
highest esteem and confidence by his associates, and his enjoyment 
of the companionship of his fellows is evidenced in his membership 
in the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd^ Fellows. Mr. 
Graham was married November 7, 1912, to MoUie F., daughter of 
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Drain, of Cincinnati. Following their mar- 
riage Mr. and Mrs. Graham settled at their new home on South 
College avenue, Oxford, where have been born their two children : 
Margaret Sue and James Warren. 

William W. Graham was born in the state of Delaware, near 
Concord, June 9, 1841. During the course of a long and useful 
career he was known and honored for his sterling integrity, his 
liberality and sympathy and kindliness, and in his death, on July 
18, 1900, Butler county lost one of its well known and highly 
valued citizens. Mr. Graham was a son of Philip and Ann Graham, 
who passed their entire lives in Delaware, a state in which the 
respective families were founded in an early period. William W. 
Graham attended the public schools of his native state and there- 
after found employment for some time as a farm workman in that 
state, and he was still a young man when he came to Butler county, 
Ohio, and secured employment on a farm in Fairfield township. 
He continued thus engaged until the time of his marriage, and 
after his marriage was for a time engaged in farming near the 
village of Flockton, whence he finally removed to a farm near what 
was then known as the Eighteen Mile house. After conducting 
operations here for several years he purchased and removed to the 
fine homestead farm on which his widow still resides, and with in- 
creasing prosperity he made judicious investments in other tracts 
in Fairfield township until he became the owner of a valuable 
property of 265 acres, a portion of which he later sold. Mr. Graham 
was wide-awake, vigorous and progressive in his activities as an 
agriculturist and stock grower, and success attended all his efforts. 
He was loyal to all civic duties and responsibilities, took lively 
interest in community aflfairs and served as trustee of Fairfield 
township, a position in which he continued as the valued incumbent 
for nine years. He was affiliated with the Knights of Honor. Mr. 
Graham was married to Mrs. Sarah C. (Bobenmeyer) Morris, 
widow of L. D. Morris, the one son of the first marriage being 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPiriCAI. J71 

James Wesley Morris, who still resides in Butler county. Mrs. 
Graham is a representative of one of the old and honored pioneer 
families of the beautiful Miami valley. She was born and reared 
in Fairfield township, Butler county, and is a daughter of John 
and Saloma (Dubbs) Bobenmeyer, the former a native of Berks 
county, Pa., and the latter of Lehigh county, that state. John 
Bobenmeyer was a son of John Frederick Bobenmeyer, who was 
of Holland Dutch ancestry and a scion of American colonial stock. 
He was but six months old when an Indian uprising in Berks 
county. Pa., resulted in the massacre of all members of his family 
except himself and his devoted mother, who escaped with him into 
the forest, where she remained until the following morning and 
thus saved their lives. John F. Bobenmeyer was reared to man- 
hood in Pennsylvania, whence he came to Ohio and numbered 
himself among the pioneer settlers of Butler county. Eventually 
he removed to Darke County, and there he and his wife passed the 
remainder of their lives. John Bobenmeyer was a child at the 
time the family home was established in Butler county, where he 
was reared under the conditions of the pioneer days, and eventually 
he became one of the substantial farmers of "the county, both he 
and his wife having passed the closing years of their lives on their 
old homestead farm on the Deerfield turnpike, and in Fairfield 
township. They became the parents of ten children, all of whom 
attained to maturity, and on other pages of this work will be found 
various data and further reference to members of this sterling 
pioneer family. Mrs. Graham is now one of the venerable and 
revered pioneer women of her native county, with a large circle 
of friends and acquaintances. Mr. and Mrs. Graham became the 
parents of eight children : Albert, married Anna Fields and they 
have five children. — Maude, Charles, Paul, Esther and Donald ; John, 
wedded Gertrude Shepard, and their have eight children, — Gertrude, 
Walter, William, Ruby, Ernest, Howard, Eugene and Shirley ; 
Anna is the wife of Harry Smith ; Maude is the wife of William 
Lank ; Henry, who is still a bachelor, remains with his widowed 
mother and has active management of the home farm ; Charles died 
in childhood ; Clara is the wife of Harry Fouracre and they have one 
child, — Helen ; Walter married Helen Davis and their two children 
are Dorothy and Maxine. 

Val. L. Green, one of the representative citizens of Butler 
county was born in Fairfield township June 19, 1862. His parents 
were John and Mary (Sheeley) Green ; the former of whom was 
a native of Maryland, where he grew to manhood. Coming to 
Butler county he engaged in the pursuits of agriculture, working 
first as a farmhand and later as an excavator at the hydraulic works 
at Hamilton, following this latter occupation until its completion. 
Then occurred his marriage and removal to Fairfield township 
where he began his career as a farmer, renting the A. S. Miller 
farm, for a period of forty years ; at the close of which he moved 
to Liberty township. Here he took over the Joseph Taylor farm, 
half mile south of Monroe, farming there for about four years. 
With increasing age he gradually withdrew from active life and 



272 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

went into retirement at Middletown. To him and his wife were 
born seven children : Taylor ; John ; Reuben ; Val. L., the subject of 
this sketch; Lydia; Thursay; and Ella. Val. L. Green acquired 
the early principles of knowledge in the public schools of Fairfield 
township. Afterwards he was employed at the home farm until 
the time of his marriage, when he became a renter near Monroe, 
remaining there for three years. He next moved on the John 
Sheehan farm at Red Lion, Warren county, residing there for a 
like period, when he moved to Union township, Butler county. In 
this location he farmed as a renter for eighteen years until 1911 
when, as a reward for long continued industry, he acquired a farm 
of 104 acres in Liberty township, which he still owns. Well versed 
in scientific management he has enhanced the value and beauty of 
his estate which cannot fail to be noticed by the most casual ob- 
server. He adheres to the principles of the Democratic party and 
holds membership in the Presbyterian church at Monroe. In 1897, 
he took for wife Miss Anna Carr, daughter of James Carr, and 
to them have been born six children : Leslie, Clarence, Ralph, Mark 
and Grace ; one son died in infancy. Leslie married Marion Lind- 
sey and they have two children : Anna Catherine and Thomas. 
Ralph married Almerta Stewert. 

Charles W. Greer, a superintendent at the plant of the Amer- 
ican Rolling Mill company, and a very popular citizen of Middle- 
town, son of Hugh Jasper and Martha (Harpole) Greer, was born 
in West Virginia, February 7, 1869. He came from a fine old family 
of West Virginia. His father was a member of the legislature of 
that state and a public speaker of note. Mr. Greer has now in his 
possession the manuscript of the last public address delivered by 
his father on the occasion of a Memorial Day observance. Mr. 
Greer has a brother and two sisters : William Wirt and Emma, Mrs. 
Lon Gill, both residents of Huntington, W. Va. ; Lona, Mrs. John 
Greer, Columbus, Ohio. February 25, 1893, our subject was mar- 
ried to Miss Delia Coleman, daughter of Hanson and Mary Minerva 
(Sweasey) Coleman, and who has two sisters and two brothers: 
Albert and Thomas Coleman, and Rose, Mrs. McClellan Thornton, 
living in West Virginia; Dicie Jane, Mrs. Charles Parsons, living 
in Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Greer are the parents of three children : 
Hugh Jasper, Lena Leona and Helen. The last-named remains at 
home and is a student in high school ; Lena Leona is married to 
Clyde Smith ; Hugh Jasper married Mary Knepschink and to them 
four children have been born : Charles Russell, Lewis, Mary Ellen 
and Robert. Mr. Greer is a man of fine presence, generous nature 
and kindly manner, and is one of the best-liked among the men in 
the large plant in which he is employed. The family lives in 
beautiful Lakeside where a magnificent new home has been built. 
Mr. Greer belongs to the Methodist church in the work of which 
Mrs. Greer takes a very active interest. In politics, he is liberal. 

Henry Grehl. One of the prosperous, hard-working farmers 
and stockmen of Union township, is Henry Grehl, who owns a 
large, well managed farm, and is one of the sound, reliable citizens 
of Butler county. That Mr. Grehl was brought up in an entirely 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 273 

different line of business, has not interfered with his making a 
success along agricultural lines for his is considered one of Union 
township's most judicious and efficient farmers, stockmen and 
dairymen. He was born in Schlesien, Germany, in 1859, son of 
Albert and Johanna Grehl, both of whom died in Germany. The 
father was a dyer by trade, and this trade Henry learned after he 
had finished his school period. When twenty-two years of age 
Mr. Grehl came to the United States. He understood, as an expert 
dyer, considerable chemistry, and found employment in one of the 
large trade establishments in the city of New York, from there subse- 
quently coming to Ohio and for several years was engaged as a dyer 
at Dayton, removing from there to Cincinnati, where he worked 
in dye houses until 1901. In that year he came to Union township, 
in Butler county, and purchased his present farm of 143 acres. 
He has spent time and money in improving his property and has a 
valuable farm. In addition to crop raising, Mr. Grehl sells the 
milk from fifteen cows, raises stock for his own use and feeds 
about twenty-five head of hogs yearly. In 1892 he married Mary 
Wesseler, who died April 10, 1918, mourned by all who knew her. 
She is survived by their four children, namely: Albert, Joseph, 
Robert, William. Mr. Grehl and his family are members of the 
Roman Catholic church, attending services at West Chester. In 
politics he is a Republican but he has never accepted any public 
office except membership on the Pisgah Special school board, of 
which he is president. 

Henry B. Grevey. One of the public-spirited citizens of Hamil- 
ton, who for years, has filled public positions here and given 
honest, trustworthy service, is Henry B. Grevey, who has been city 
safety director ever since first appointed in 1918. He was born 
at Hamilton, Ohio, son of Bernard and Minnie (Kettman) Grevey, 
the latter of whom still lives in this, her native city. The father 
was born in Germany and followed the trade of a cabinet maker 
until his death. Henry B. is the only son in the family but he has 
three sisters, namely : Carrie, who is the wife of George Johnson, 
foreman of the Mosler Safe company, and councilman of the second 
ward ; Mamie, who is the wife of Arthur Roden, superintendent 
of the Mosler Safe company ; and Clara, who is the wife of Charles 
Segmiller, machinist, of Dayton. Henry B. Grevey obtained his 
early education in St. Joseph's parochial school. His first work was 
herding cattle, but he learned the machinist trade before he was well 
out of boyhood, and after he completed his apprenticeship with the 
Niles Tool company, he worked for eight years as a machinist, 
then became a representative of the Cincinnati Brewing company, 
continuing with that organization for fifteen years. In politics a 
Democrat, he has always taken a hearty interest in public questions 
and has been prominent in local affairs. For twenty-two years 
he had charge of Precinct D, second ward, and in 1903, was elected 
councilman-at-large and served in that capacity for two years. In 
1905, he was elected councilman from the second ward and served 
two years, and from 1908 to 1909 was clerk of the city council ; and 
from 1913 to 1918, was chief deputy supervisor and inspector of 



274 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

elections. In him the progressive city of Hamilton found a trained 
official for the very responsible office of city safety director, and 
Mr. Grevey has full charge of this branch of the city government. 
In 1899 he married Jennie, daughter of Jaines and Mary Johnson, 
and they have four sons and one daughter, namely : Gilbert, Clyde, 
Carl, Harry and Ruth, all the children being well educated. The 
entire family belongs to St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church. 
During the late war Mr. Grevey served as chairman of the second 
ward board in the bond drives. He belongs to the Catholic Order 
of Foresters, the Crescent Aid society, the Eagles and the Mutual 
Monkeys. 

Wilmer E. Griffith, M. D.— Throughout his life Dr. Wilmer E. 
Griffith of Hamilton, Butler county, Ohio, has been known for his 
enterprise, aggressiveness and determination to make himself a 
potent force in movements in which he was aware that his services 
would be of value. He has always believed that the man who is 
able to accomplish something for his fellow-man as well as himself 
is the true type of useful citizen. Accordingly, it was not surprising 
to his numerous friends to learn that he was the first physician from 
Hamilton to enter the service of the United States government for 
medical work in connection with soldier training camps in the recent 
world conflict. The record he made while engaged in this activity 
was one of which he might well feel proud and as evidence of the 
value of his services in this connection it might be stated that he 
was accorded the honor of a promotion from first lieutenant to a 
captaincy. The same discriminating care and adherence to the 
recognized rules of practice that characterized his activities as a 
physician in Hamilton were given the greatest latitude during the 
period that he was engaged in war work. It is not amiss to state 
that his achievements vs^hile occupied with the exacting duties of a 
physician connected with a training camp brought credit not only 
to himself, but to the medical profession in general. Born in West 
Brownsville, Pa., July 20, 1868, he was educated in the public schools 
of that place, later attending the Carleton academy where for two 
years he pursued the preparatory course which admitted him to 
Carleton college. After four years of study at this institution he 
received the degree of Bachelor of Sciences. He then became a 
student at George Washington university, Washington, D. C, 
where he was graduated in medicine in 19(X). After leaving school 
he practised his profession in West Brownsville, Pa., until 1910, 
when he decided to cast his fortune further west and located in Ham- 
ilton. This step proved to be a most fortunate one, as he met with 
success from the start in his new location. Being of pleasing per- 
sonality and a man who was always prepared to put his shoulder to 
the wheel in promoting the best interests of his town he early in his 
career cultivated a wide and desirable acquantance in Hamilton. 
It was in August, 1917, that he decided that he could do the best 
work for his country in the Medical Corps, U. S. Army, and he 
accordingly entered the service of his country at Ft. Benjamin Har- 
rison, where he remained three months. Upon completion of this 
assignment he was promoted to a captaincy. He was then assigned 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 275 

to the base hospital at Camp Custer, Mich., remaining there until 
August 2, 1918, when he was assigned to the 10th Infantry as regi- 
mental surgeon for a short time. From there he went to the 77th 
Infantry and received his honorable discharge December 6, 1918. 
He was united in marriage December 16, 1909, to Miss Rebecca 
Bell and to them one child was born, Oliver Clark. By a former 
marriage two children were born, Wilma Clare and Llewellyn Oscar. 
He is a member of the Butler County, the Union District Medi- 
cal societies and American Medical association, having been presi- 
dent for the former organization one year and secretary-treasurer 
four years. Although he has never been active in politics he is 
identified with the Republican party and is a Thirty-second degree 
Mason. 

William J. Griffiths — This sterling citizen of Middletown, where 
he is identified with the American Rolling mill, was born at Brady 
Bend, Armstrong county, Pa., October 26, 1870, a son of John and 
Mary (Morgan) Griffiths, the former a native of Wales and the 
latter of Pennsylvania. John Griffiths came to the United States 
as a lad of six years, and when he had attained young manhood 
became connected with the Great Western Iron works at Brady 
Bend, Pa. He was thus employed when the Civil war came on, and 
enlisted in the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers, known as the White 
Horse Infantry. At the expiration of his term of service, he re- 
enlisted, this time as a member of Company A, 107th regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the 
struggle, making an excellent record for bravery and fidelity to 
duty. Under General Reynolds, his regiment was among the first 
troops in the field at the battle of Gettysburg, where his command 
lost its leader. His military career closed, Mr. Griffiths returned to 
his home community, where he resumed work* at his trade, and so 
continued until his death in 1883. The loss of his father when he 
was but thirteen years of age cut short the educational training of 
William J. Griffiths, who at that time started to work as a newsboy 
in his home town. Later he was attracted to railroad life and for 
seven years was employed in construction work on the Pennsylvania 
railroad. Next, he entered the sheet mills at Apollo, Pa., whence 
he went to Buffalo, N. Y., and in 1911 came to Middletown, where 
he entered the service of the American Rolling mill, with which he 
has since been identified as a sheet roller. He has gained and held 
the full confidence of his employers through faithful and skilled 
service and conscientious application to the duties of his position. 
Mr. Griffiths was married to Maude, daughter of Reuben and Sarah 
(Jackson) Kuhns, who had two sisters, Madge and Myrtle, the latter 
of whom married Will Shane of Apollo, Pa. Laverne, one of the 
daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Griffiths, died April 14, 1907; Hazel, the 
other daughter, is attending high school. Both the grandfather and 
father of Mrs. Griffiths served as soldiers during the war between 
the North and the South. During the period that the LTnited States 
was a participant in the great war in Europe, Mr. Griffiths was very 
actively engaged in behalf of the various movements connected with 
war relief. He also was a champion of the dry movement which re- 



276 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

suited in the adoption of Prohibition, and has been one of the influ- 
ential members in the Association of Steel workers, having- been 
delegate to five conventions of that body as a representative of Miami 
Valley lodge. Fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason and past 
chancellor of his lodge in the Knight of Pythias. In his religious 
views he is a Methodist and his liberal idea on political questions 
have led him to acknowledge no party allegiance. Mr. and Mrs. 
Griffiths and their daughter live in a pleasant home on Stanley 
avenue. 

Wayman C. Grimes — Among the young men of Middletown 
who were called to the colors of their country when the United 
States threw the force of its fresh young manhood into the terrible 
struggle raging overseas, was Wayman C. Grimes. Still little more 
than a lad when the call came, he did a man's part with the hundreds 
of thousands of others depended upon to crush militarism, and on his 
safe return to his native land again resumed the duties of peace as 
an employee of the American Rolling mill. Mr. Grimes is a son of 
Emmett and Cora (Harry) Grimes, natives of Lexington, Ky., the 
former born February 6, 1871, and the latter October 7, 1875. The 
parents were married in Kentucky, July 19, 1889, and are now resi- 
dents of Middletown, where Emmet Grimes occupies the position 
of shearman at the American Rolling mill. They have been the 
parents of six children : Wayman C. ; Verna, who is the wife of 
Robert Quinn ; Alma, who is deceased ; George, a resident of Middle- 
town ; one who died in infancy ; and Vella. who is still attending 
school. Wayman C. Grimes received a public school education, and 
when he laid aside his studies secured a position with the American 
Rolling Mill company. He was there employed when the United 
States entered the World war, and March 29, 1918, went to Camp 
Sherman, where he was attached to Company L, 332nd regiment, 
83d division. With this division he went to New Jersey, May 25, 
1918, and June 6, 1918, sailed for overseas, going first to England 
and later to Le Havre, France. From that point of disembarkation 
he was sent with his regiment to Genoa, Italy, and participated in 
the battle of Vittoris Veneto. After seeing much active service he 
returned to the United States, arriving April 3, 1919, and immedi- 
ately upon his return to Middletown resumed his duties at his old 
position at the American Rolling Mill company's plant. He is 
accounted a valuable man by his employers, a steady, skilled and 
energetic worker, and among his fellows is extremely popular. He 
votes the Democratic ticket, and is a faithful member of the Chris- 
tian church. 

Paul M. Grollmus — The younger generation of the agricultural 
element of Butler county is well represented in Wayne township by 
Paul M. Grollmus, who is now carrying on successful and extensive 
operations on what is known as the Nathan Jacoby place, situated 
north of Seven Mile. Mr. Grollmus' activities consist of farming and 
stock raising, in both of which departments he has met with the 
well-merited success that is the result of industry and well-directed 
management. He was born at Detroit, Mich., July 14, 1883, a son 
of William and Mary (Rice) Grollmus, natives of Germany. The 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 277 

parents of Mr. Grollmus came to the United States as young people 
and met and were married at Detroit, where the father, a lock setter 
by trade, worked for several years for the Pullman Car company. 
In 1890 William Grollmus brought his family to East Hamilton, 
Ohio, where he built a grocery store at No. 2, Harmon avenue, 
which he conducted for seven years. Selling his interests therein, 
April 16, 1897, he bought a farm one mile north of Seven Mile, on 
the old Trace road, a tract of fifty-two acres, on which he made 
numerous improvements and on which he continued farming until 
his death, in 1914, at the age of fifty-six years. His wife had pre- 
ceded him in death one year before, when she was forty-eight years 
of age. They were faithful members of St. John's church, at East 
Hamilton, and the parents of two children : Paul M., and Annie, who 
married Anderson Rudisel, and owns and lives on the old family 
place. Paul M. Grollmus attended the public schools of Detroit, 
Mich., and East Hamilton, Ohio, and remained with his father until 
the elder man's death, when he bought his present property. On 
this 150-acre property he built, in 1918, a fine barn, 40x80 feet, with 
a cement floor, which has accomodations for twenty-five head of 
stock and a loft capable of holding fifty tons of hay and feed. He 
has made numerous other improvements, including the installation 
of a Delco lighting system for his buildings, and has made this one 
of the model farms of Wayne township. In addition to engaging 
in general farming, he raises Shorthorn cattle and Draft horses, 
and, owing to his uninterrupted industry and the careful manner in 
which he directs his operations, his work has proved uniformly 
successful and productive of good results. Mr. Grollmus is a popu- 
lar member of the Knights of Pythias lodge at Seven Mile, and he 
and Mrs. Grollmus belong to the Methodist Episcopal church. As 
a voter he is independent, and has found no time to engage in poli- 
tics, save as showing a public-spirited citizen's interest in the wel- 
fare and advancement, as well as good government, of his com- 
munity. June 30, 1908, Mr. Grollmus was united in marriage with 
Luella Chapin, of West Chester, Ohio, a daughter of William and 
Kate (Long) Chapin, the former of Somerville and the latter of 
West Chester, Ohio. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Grollmus, namely: William, Carl, Helen and Hazel, all at home. 

Thomas M. Grubbs — A well-known and popular employee of 
the American Rolling mill, at Middletown, with which he is identi- 
fied in the capacity of heater, was born at Bolivar, Pa., a son of 
William and Mary Grubbs, the latter a woman of seventy-two years 
of age, hale and hearty and an afifectionate mother, lives on the old 
home place in Bolivar, Pa., and once a year visits her children in 
their respective homes, where she finds a hearty welcome. His 
grandfather was an early settler of Pennsylvania, with his three 
sons, William. Silas and Kearnel, the latter two of whom met sol- 
diers' deaths during the war between the North and the South. The 
land that was taken up by the grandfather as a claim was handed 
down by him to his son William, who died thereon in 1908, and 
this property is still the home of the mother. There was a large 
family of children, including: Alice, who is Mrs. Charles Welshons, 



278 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

of Pennsylvania ; Catherine, Mrs. George Foust ; Thomas M. ; 
Harry, who died at Pittsburg, Pa., in 1903, of appendicitis; John, 
of Wilkes Barre, Pa. ; James and Charles, of Pittsburg, Pa. ; and 
Frank, Edward and Elmer, of Steubenville, Ohio. Thomas M. 
Grubbs received his education in the public schools of Bolivar, and 
as a youth became connected with the steel industry. In 1911 he 
came from Zanesville, Ohio, to Middletown, to enter the plant of 
the American Rolling mill and here has been located ever since. 
He is popular with his fellow-workmen at the plant, where he has 
earned the reputation of being a skilled and faithful workman, and 
as a citizen and a neighbor is held in high esteem. In 1914 he built 
a beautiful home on Logan avenue, where he has the companionship 
of an estimable wife and bright and interesting children. Frater- 
nally, he is affiliated with the Masons, while his religious connection 
is with the Presbyterian church. August 1, 1906, Mr. Grubbs was 
married at Zanesville, Ohio, to Edna, daughter of Albert and Sadie 
(McGowan) Mcllvaine, of that city, and a sister of Albert, of War- 
ren, Ohio, who is Mrs. William McClellan, of Cincinnati ; and Orpha, 
who is Mrs. William Barnes of Sonora, Ohio. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Grubbs there have come three children : William Harold, born at 
Zanesville, December 9, 1908 ; Orpha V., born at Middletown, Oc- 
tober 24, 1914; and James Richard, born at Middletown, May 29, 
1916. Mrs. Grubb's father, who was for years an employee of the 
Brown Manufacturing company of Zanesville, Ohio, moved to a 
farm in Muskingum county, Ohio, in 1895, was killed in 1896 by a 
falling tree. The mother is still living and makes her home mostly 
with her daughter, Mrs. Grubbs. 

Joseph T. Guillaume, a native of Butler county and long actively 
identified with its interests, was born in Madisonville, Hamilton 
county, Ohio, September 15, 1857, son of Henry and Mary (Sobley) 
Guillaume, both of whom were born in Ste. Marie, Belgium, near the 
French border. They were married in Belgium, where he followed 
the trade of a stonecutter. They came to this country and first set- 
tled near New Albany, Ind., where his brothers had previously 
located with his parents. The brothers were Joseph and Frank. The 
parents later moved to the John A. Jones place at Madisonville, 
Hamilton county, thence to Tylersville, Butler county. Mr. Guill- 
aume was a high-class mechanic, and prior to coming to this country 
had been employed on many of the great structures in Paris, France. 
For a number of years he worked as a stone mason at Tylersville 
and both he and his wife died there and were buried in West Chester 
cemetery, Butler county. Their children were, John B., who lives 
at Urbana, Ohio; Joseph T., our subject, lives at Flockton, Ohio. 
Joseph T. Guillaume received his education in the Tylersville 
schools, after leaving which he worked at the trade of a stone mason, 
which he had acquired through work and with instructions from his 
father. He continued in this calling for a number of years as con- 
tractor in the erection and construction of bridges and the construc- 
tion of public works generally. He retired from general contract 
work in 1913, but at different times has served as inspector of con- 
crete work done for the state, and is at the present tifne inspector of 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 279 

the work done on the Dixie Highway. About twenty-five years ago 
Mr. Guillaume purchased a farm of 122 acres, located in Fairfield 
township, which has been brought to a high state of cultivation, and 
is now being farmed by his son, Joseph, jr. Mr. Guillaume was 
married February 16, 1881, to Ella Vail, of Hylersville. To this 
union two children were born : Charles and Gary. Charles married 
Cornelia Gilmore, has a daughter, Emma Jane. Gary died at the 
age of nine months. Mr. Guillaume was married (secondly) to Jen- 
nie Vail, sister of his first wife, and to this union two children were 
born: Joseph and Stanley. Joseph married Nellie Gift, and have a 
son, James; Stanley married Henrietta Brinkman. Mr. Guillaume 
has always taken an active part in public affairs and has been a posi- 
tive factor in the development and growth of the county of his 
nativity. For nine years he served as trustee of Union township, 
and for ten years he filled the same ofifice in Fairfield township. 
Mr. Guillaume belongs to. the Elks and Odd Fellows and is a 
Democrat. 

Mrs. Byron Hadley. Among the families of Middletown, and 
one that became well and favorably known because of the worthy 
support of all beneficial measures and for the setting of a high stand- 
ard of living and honorable citizenship, was that of Hadley. Byron 
Hadley, the head of this family, and son of Alfred V. and Rachael 
(Kennedy) Hadley, was for a number of years principal machine- 
tender at the Gardner-Harvey Paper company's plant at Middle- 
town, but at the present time resides at Lockport, N. Y., where he 
is similarly employed. He was married June 2, 1888, to Agnes L., 
daughter of Philip and Maria Beam, native Americans, who for 
some years resided in the locality of New York City, but later moved 
to Albany, N. Y. Mrs. Hadley was educated in the public schools 
of the Empire state, and married her husband at Hoboken, N. J., 
and they became the parents of a large family, and while residents of 
Middletown settled in a pretty and comfortable home on North 
street. Mrs. Hadley is a woman of superior intelligence and intel- 
lectuality, and during her residence at Middletown gathered about 
her a wide circle of friends. Her children were: Ethel May, who 
is deceased ; Walter Byron, of Middletown, who married Hazel 
Schueller; Arthur Jefferson, of Middletown, who married Edith 
Gudgeon ; Grace and Milton, who are deceased ; an infant who died 
at birth ; Raymond Milton ; Norman Fischer ; Alfred Dillon ; Harry 
Ellsworth, and Theodore Roosevelt. Norman Fischer Hadley was 
one of the br.ive young soldiers from Middletown who went to 
France and won fame with the American Expeditionary Forces. He 
went to France with the Second Replacement Overseas Battalion, 
United States Marine Corps, March 13, 1918, having previous to 
that time been stationed for three months at Paris Island. From 
his disembarkation point, Brest, he went to Coblenz, and was then 
transferred to the 5th regiment and sent to the front, at Verdun. 
After thirteen days of fighting, he was wounded while serving on a 
patrol, by a high explosive shell, and for three months lay tempor- 
arily blinded in a hospital. When again fit for service he rejoined 
his unit in time to take part in the famous engagement of Chateau 



280 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Thierry, where he was shell-shocked and again sent to the hospital 
for three months. July 13, 1918, as a casual, he received his honor- 
able discharge and returned to his home. In a curious manner, the 
number "13," which the superstitious regard with awe, figured in 
this brave young soldier's service. He arrived at Paris December 
13; February 13, shot for a record; March 13 shipped for France; 
took thirteen days to cross the ocean ; was in France thirteen days 
before he went to the front ; the thirteenth day at the front was 
wounded ; was on a stretcher numbered 13 when taken to the hos- 
pital ; was discharged July 13 ; October 13 received word to leave for 
the United States ; and was one of a party of thirteen Marines on 
board the ship which thirteen days later arrived at Hoboken. The^e 
was also a 13 included in his rifle number. Mr. Hadley has taken 
up the study of commercial art, which he intends to follow as a vo- 
cation when he actively takes up the duties and responsibilities of 
civil life. 

John Hafner. Of the younger generation of agriculturists of 
Butler county, prominence is deservedly accorded to John Hafner, 
the greater part of whose career has been devoted to a study of prac- 
tical farming, and who is now superintendent of operations on the 
farm of Mrs. Louis Mock, in Madison township. He comes of the 
second generation of his family to reflect credit upon this part of 
the state, as his father was for many years one of the representative 
men of this locality. Mr. Hafner was born in Montgomery county, O., 
in 1877, a son of Roman and Anna (Fabing) Hafner, natives of 
Baden, Germany. His father was a young man, ambitious and en- 
terprising, when he emigrated to the United States, without friends 
or means, but filled with a determination to make a success of his 
life. Locating first at Bethany, he secured employment by the 
month from John Salzman and John Mart, and while residing there 
was married, a step which caused him to seek a home and property 
of his own. He accordingly came to Madison township, Butler 
county, where for several years he lived on the Jack Hofifman farm, 
then going to Montgomery county, where he made his home for 
nine years. Upon his return to Madison township, in May, 1887, 
he bought a farm of eighty acres in section 35, and was engaged in 
making extensive improvements when suddenly called by death, 
August 10, 1907, at the age of sixty-eight years, six months and ten 
days. He was a man of worth and stability, who was highly re- 
spected in his community, and whose death was sincerely mourned. 
He and Mrs. Hafner were consistent members of the Catholic church 
at Middletown, and the parents of five children : a daughter who 
died young; John; Lizzie, who married Walter Cass and lives on 
the old home place in Madison township ; Annie, who married An- 
thony Lewing, of Middletown ; and Katie, who married Ben Nulist, 
of Madison county. John Hafner was educated in the home schools 
and had just attained his majority when he entered upon his inde- 
pendent career. His youth had been one characterized by close 
application to the work of the home farm, as he had been but four- 
teen years of age when his mother died, February 17, 1891, and he 
had little opportunity, as the only son, to do anything aside from 





JOHN HAFNER 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 281 

\ 
work, or to enjoy the recreations that youth considers its preroga- 
tive. For one year after starting upon his own career, Mr. Hafner 
worked out by the month, and then returned to the homestead, 
where he remained until his father's death, this being followed by 
one year's work for William Hollenbaugh and a like period for 
Frank Michaels. At that time he was selected by Mrs. Louis Mock, 
of Madison township, as superintendent of operations on her farm 
in section 9. During the ten years that he has been thus employed, 
Mr. Hafner has succeeded in developing the property in many ways 
and adding to its value through improvements and the installment 
of up-to-date features. . In addition to carrying on a general farming 
business, he deals quite extensively in stock and fertilizer, and is 
regarded as an expert, thorough and energetic farmer and a man 
of unblemished character in business dealings as well as in personal 
life. He has always been too busily occupied with his agricultural 
activities to give much thought to public aflfairs, as far as his own 
candidacy for office might be considered, but as a public-spirited 
man, realizing the benefit of progress to the community as well as 
to the individual, he has given his moral and material support to 
various movements which have promised to benefit the locality and 
its people. Personally he possesses qualities that are likable and 
attractive, and as a result among a wide circle of acquaintances he 
can boast of many warm and sincere friends. 

Ellsworth Hagan was born near Seven Mile, Ohio, August 17, 
1874. His father, George Hagan, born in Butler county and his 
mother, Elizabeth (Clark) Hagan, born in Hamilton county, are 
now deceased, having passed the latter end of their lives on a farm 
near Seven Mile. To this union were born Clifton, of Hamilton ; 
Newton ; Ellsworth and Nannie. Ellsworth Hagan was educated in 
the public schools of Seven Mile ; immediately after leaving school 
he entered upon a career of farming, an industry which he has fol- 
lowed with an unusual degree of success to the present time. Two 
years after his marriage, September 25, 1901, to Emma K. Knouse, 
daughter of Peter and Catherine (Behl) Knouse, he moved on to a 
farm of 180 acres in Ross township, which he has improved and 
brought to such a high degree of cultivation through scientific crop 
rotation and management that its equal is rarely to be met with even 
in this most fertile section of the United States. Mrs. Hagan's par- 
ens were natives of Germany, but realizing the greater opportunities 
for success in life in the new world they early came to this country, 
locating in Morgan township, Butler county. To them were born 
the following children : Peter, of Morgan township ; Louise, of Chi- 
cago ; George, deceased ; Edward, of Arizona ; Frank, of Montana : 
William, of Hamilton; Kathran, now Mrs. Bowman,of Ross town- 
ship ; Emma ; Anna, now Mrs. Eschenbrenner, also of Ross town- 
ship ; Mary, and one child who died in infancy. Mr. Hagan has 
always voted the Democratic ticket, but has never been induced to 
relinquish private life for public office, although he has been very 
prominent in war activities of his community. To him and his wife 
have been born two children : Howard, aged fourteen, and Floyd, 
aged nine. 



282 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

John B. Halderman, the proprietor of the old Kemp property 
in Madison township and a farmer and citizen of substantial stand- 
ing, still in the prime of a useful life, is a native of Preble county, 
born June 4, 1847, a son of James and Hannah (Fall) Halderman, 
The first of this family- to come to Ohio was the grandfather of John 
B. Halderman, Christian Halderman, who migrated at an early 
day from his native state of Pennsylvania to Preble county, when 
the latter community was still much of a wilderness, with a great 
deal of wild game. During the early days the grandfather did a 
great deal of teaming to Cincinnati, and became favorably known 
among the early settlers of his vicinity as a man of sterling charac- 
ter and strict integrity. He was of the Dunkard faith and a man 
who lived up to his religion and the dictates of his conscience. His 
son, James Halderman, was born near Gratis, Preble county, and 
grew up on his father's farm, remaining under the home roof until 
his marriage to Hannah Fall, of the same county, daughter of Ben- 
jamin Fall. Mr. Fall was a Southerner and a slave owner, and came 
to Ohio with his wife, who had been a Miss Leslie, to Preble county 
where he secured a large tract of land, a good deal of which he 
cleared. They became well known in their new community, and 
died there as highly respected people and as faithful members of 
the Baptist church. James Halderman took up farming after his 
marriage near Fairhaven, but subsequently moved to Madison 
township, and settled on a farm on which Mrs. Wilson now lives. 
He passed the rest of his life on this farm, and died at the age of 
seventy-seven years. In politics he was a Democrat, and in his 
community he had universal respect and confidence. He and Mrs. 
Halderman, who died at the age of seventy-four years, had three 
children: Joseph, whose health sufifered greatly by reason of his 
three years of service in the Civil war, but who spent many years 
in farming in Madison township, Butler county, and finally went 
to Cuba, Mo., where he died July 28, 1918, he married a Miss Fergu- 
son ; John B., and Mrs. Wilson. John B. Halderman was educated 
in the home schools and resided with his parents until reaching the 
age of twenty-one years. When he left the homestead he estab- 
lished a home of his own by his marriage with Eliza Jane Hursh, 
who was born in Madison township, a daughter of Henry and Sus- 
anna (Snyder) Hursh, natives of Pennsylvania and early settlers 
of Madison township, where they cleared a farm and made a home. 
There were four children in the Hursh family; Mrs. Halderman; 
John, of Middletown ; Samuel, of Delphos, and Catherine, the wife 
of Ezra Hinkle, also of Middletown. Four children have been born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Halderman : Florence, the wife of E. Craig, a con- 
tractor of Overpeck, with two children, Roy, now first lieutenant in 
the United States Regular Army at Fort Bliss, and Myrtice, the wife 
of Emmett Meehan, of Middletown ; Edward E., who died April 
18, 1898; Alfred, formerly a farmer and paper mill worker at Mid- 
dletown, and now engaged in government work at Elyria, married 
Agnes Stoddard and has four children : Harold, Hilda, Mildred and 
Florence ; and Elbert, who attended the West Middletown schools, 
later took a commercial course in civil engineering, engaged for a 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 283 

time in the moulding business and is now a large farmer near Jack- 
sonboro, married Mamie Yost, and has three children : Jane, John 
Edward and Charles Joseph. After his marriage, Mr. Halderman 
located near the old home place, and for twenty-eight years was en- 
gaged in renting land. In 1896, however, he became a proprietor, 
when he moved to his present property, known as the old Kemp 
place. When he took over this property it was greatly run down, 
through poor management and much neglect, and it was only after 
strenuous work that the property was placed in presentable and 
profitable condition. Mr. Halderman remodeled and renovated the 
house, built a new home and made numerous other attractive and 
valuable improvements, with the result that he is now the owner 
of a fine country place. He has always been a general farmer, and 
in former years raised Jersey cattle, but now makes a specialty of 
Holstein cattle, mixed hogs and draft horses. He takes a good deal 
of interest in current public affairs in his locality, and has served 
very efficiently in the past in the capacity of township trustee. His 
political support is given to the Democratic party. For many years 
Mr. Halderman has been a member of the board of directors of the 
Miltonville Cemetery association and other connections testify to 
the fact that he is a public-spirited man and a supporter of religion, 
education and good citizenship. December 25, 1917, Mr. and Mrs. 
Halderman celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary, at which 
were present three of their children, several grandchildren and one 
great-grandchild as well as the many friends whom they have made 
during their residence in this community. 

Edward Haller, son of Mathias and Selimina (Jacobs) Haller, 
was bom near Darrtown, Butler county, Ohio, September 4th, 1880. 
His father was of German, his mother of English ancestry. The 
father, who still lives, was a veteran of the Civil war, having served 
four years; the mother died March 11, 1897. He had seven brothers 
and sisters : Lewis, now in Middletown, Ohio ; Joseph, in Dayton, 
Ohio; Elizabeth, Mrs. Adah Sohn ; Samuel, in Ohio; Charles, in 
Dayton ; Jacob, deceased ; Jonas, in Pittsburg, Pa. Mr. Haller was 
married to Bertha Maud Dye, daughter of William and Sarah 
(Thomas) Dye, who came from Campbell, Ky., to Middletown, 
where they still reside. Mrs. Haller had six brothers and sisters : 
Walter, Edgar Lewis, deceased; James Luther, Sara Pearl, Mrs. 
Chester Jones ; Charles ; and Stella, Mrs. Martin Kohler. Mr. and 
Mrs. Haller are the parents of four bright children, Paul, Eleanor, 
Zola and Thurman, in whom they take much delight and of whom 
they are justly proud. For a number of years they lived in Hamil- 
ton and Miamisburg, Ohio, and came to Middletown in 1911, when 
Mr. Haller became associated with the American Rolling Mill 
Company in the capacity of heater. Mr. Haller owns a splendid 
home on Yankee road which he finds a haven of rest on completion 
of a day of arduous toil. He is a member of the St. Paul church, 
and politically a Progressive. 

James Washington Halsey. A resident of Middletown since 
1910, James Washington Halsey has so conformed to the ideals 
of reliability, integrity and good citizenship as to have won and 



284 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

held the esteem of his fellow-citizens. He belongs to the vast army 
of workers who form the integral parts of the human machinery- 
operating the plant of the Middletown Rolling Mill, where his posi- 
tion is that of crate maker and his status that of a thoroughly 
trustworthy, steady and- capable mechanic. Mr. Halsey was born in 
Nicholas county, Ky., December 6, 1864, a son of Harvey Thomas 
and Nancy Ann (Williams) Halsey. His father, born in Virginia, 
January 16, 1840, was still a youth when he removed to Kentucky, 
and is still living and following farming, while his mother died 
in Wolfe county, December 12, 1907. James W. Halsey received a 
common school education in his native state, where he remained 
until 1910. In that year he came to Middletown, and for the past 
nine years has been employed as a crate maker at the plant of the 
American Rolling Mill, where he has numerous friends. A man 
of thrifty habits, he has accumulated property, and since coming 
to Middletown has built a comfortable modern home located on 
LefTerson street. He is known as a man of the strictest honesty 
and integrity, a strong temperance advocate and a devout member 
of the Nazarene church. He is married and has reared a large 
family of children, and his son, Kelly O., served with the American 
Expeditionary Forces on the battlefields of Aisne, Marne, St. Mihiel 
and Argonne. 

John W. Halsey, a prosperous citizen and successful business 
man of Middletown, son of Harvey Thomas and Nancy (Williams) 
Halsey, was born in Wolfe county, Ky., March 13, 1874. He was 
educated in the public schools of his home town and attended 
Berea college one term. Upon leaving school, he engaged in 
lumber work, then made a trip to Alaska, subsequently arriving 
in the state of Washington where he remained six years. His next 
change was to Middletown, Ohio, where he was married to Edith 
Chevault, daughter of Harvey Chevault. To this union were born 
two children : Amiel Raymond and Edward. Mrs. Halsey's father 
is deceased and the mother resides in Pike Ridge, Ky. Mr. Halsey's 
father is still living, the mother dying December 25, 1906. Shortly 
after he arrived in Middletown, Mr. Halsey started a grocery 
business on a comparatively small scale, but by reason of his 
correct methods, unfailing courtesy and untiring energy, the ven- 
ture has assumed large proportions and continues to grow. Mr. 
Halsey has purchased and now owns several very valuable prop- 
erties. His rating among the successful business men of Middle- 
town is high. Mr. Halsey is a member of the Junior Order of 
United American Mechanics, and is liberal in his political views. 

Fred M. Hammerle. There is no one man connected with the 
ofificial life of Butler county to whom the people are indebted in 
greater degree for practical and permanent improvements than to 
Fred Hammerle, county surveyor since 1913 and for several years 
previous identified with civic affairs in minor capacities. His 
earnestness, honesty and unassuming ability have retained him in 
office by election through several changes of administration. The 
final result of his faithful and progressive service is not only to 
firmly establish him in the confidence of the local public, but to 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 28S 

give him a national standing on all matters connected with the work 
of public improvements along the lines of bridge and road building. 
Mr. Hammerle was born at Hamilton, October 27, 1878, a son of 
Frank and Catherine (Meyer) Hammerle, the former a native of 
Germany, and the latter of Hamilton, she being the daughter of a 
Swiss shoemaker. Frank Hammerle followed gunsmithing 
throughout the active years of a long and honorable life, having a 
store at Main and C streets, and also did United States Government 
work during the Civil war. He still survives, at an advanced age, 
and on occasions still does odd jobs at his trade. He was one of the 
substantial and influential men of his day, and was trustee of St. 
Clair township for several years and a member of the school board 
for twenty years. Mrs. Hammerle also survives and like her 
husband is well preserved in body and mind. They were the 
parents of four children : Fred ; Henry, of Hamilton, who married 
Grace Sheely ; Frank, also of this city, who married Etta Brown ; 
and Louise, of Hamilton, the widow of the late Allison Grover. 
Educated in the public schools of Hamilton, Mr. Hammerle was 
first employed in the United States Geological Survey for three 
years, a position in which he traveled to various parts of the United 
States. With this experience, he returned to Hamilton, where in 
1910 he became assistant city engineer, and three years later, in 
1913, was elected surveyor of Butler county, a position to which 
he has been elected four times. In this capacity, Mr. Hammerle has 
built the river bridges, costing over $1,000,(XX), one of these, at 
Middletown being the longest concrete bridge in the state, being 
1706 feet in length. He also built the bridge at Woodsdale and 
two bridges at Hamilton, as well as twenty-three miles of brick 
roads, all this in addition to the general work of his department. 
His service to the county has been of inestimable value, and his 
official record is one that is creditable to himself, his office and 
the community which he serves. Mr. Hammerle is a valued member 
of the local lodges of the Benevolent and Protect Order of Elks, 
the Kjiights of Pythias, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Fraternal 
Order of Eagles and the Mutual Monkeys. He was united in mar- 
riage in June, 1912, at Hamilton, to Jane, daughter of William and 
Hannah (Welsh) Cline, farming people of the Hamilton community 
of Butler county. To this union there has come one child : Betty 
Kate, who was born May 24, 1913. The pleasant family home is 
located at No. 225 Main street. Mrs. Hammerle is a faithful mem- 
ber of St. Mary's Catholic church. 

Walter D. Hancock, M. D. It has been truthfully said that the 
professional man, particularly the physician, who chooses to follow 
his profession in the community in which he was born and reared, 
especially when the population of his town is comparatively small, 
sincerely believes that he commands the fullest confidence of the 
townsfolk. He realizes that unless he is of unblemished character 
his prospects for developing a profitable practice are not rosy, re- 
gardless of his ability. It was because of his faith in the loyalty of 
his neighbors and townspeople in general that Walter D. Han- 
cock decided to practise medicine in Millville, Ross township, 



286 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Butler county, Ohio, after he had been awarded his college degrees. 
Fortified with a most thorough training in both the practical and 
theoretical phases of medicine he came back to the village of his 
birth to minister to the physical ills and ailments of his people with 
the knowledge that he Was welcome among them as a practising 
physician with the same cordiality that he was as an unobtrusive 
young man in the days before he had been honored by the foremost 
colleges with degrees for learning. Today Doctor Hancock is one 
of the foremost physicians and surgeons of that section of the 
state and those who have been his intimates for years (and it 
might be stated that his bosom friends are legion) manifest almost 
as much pride in the commanding position which he has attained in 
his profession as though they themselves had won the laurels. 
It was on May 25, 1847, that he first saw the light of day in Stillwell, 
now known as McGonigle, being the eldest son of Alfred and 
Emeline (DeCamp) Hancock. There were two other children, 
Joel of Sheridan, Ind., and James of Kendallville, Ind. Doctor 
Hancock was educated in the public schools of Millville and then 
attended Miami university. His purpose was to study medicine and 
he realized that the doctor who first has a solid foundation for an 
education is far better prepared to pursue the medical course than 
the student so unfortunate as not to first have the advantages of 
a university education. It was in 1869 that he received his degree, 
A. B., from Miami and immediately entered the Miami Medical 
college in Cincinnati. As an indication of his perseverance and 
indomitable spirit he was determined to obtain the most thorough 
instruction possible in the mysteries of medicine and accordingly 
undertook a post-graduate course at the University of Vienna after 
his graduation from Cincinnati college. Incidentally, it might be 
stated that during his years in college Doctor Hancock was recog- 
nized as an apt student whose one purpose was to apply himself 
diligently and conscientiously at all times. Thus equipped he was 
admirably qualified to "hang out his shingle" in Millville. The 
success that has attended the practice of his profession at this place 
has been even beyond his fondest expectations. He was united 
in marriage in 1876 to Miss Sally Oliver, only daughter of John 
and Ellen (Cassidy) Oliver. Her father was a native of Flemings- 
burg, Ky., and her mother was born in Eaton, Ohio. One child was 
born to Dr. and Mrs. Hancock, Miss Nellie, deceased. Doctor 
Hancock's father was born in Riley township and was one of the 
ten sons of Joel and Jane (Lintner) Hancock. Joel was a pioneer 
of Butler county and was a veteran of the war of 1812. One of his 
sons, John, served in the Civil war. Emeline DeCamp was a 
daughter of Walter and Sally (Bird) DeCamp. Walter DeCamp 
was a son of Ezekiel and Mary (Baker) DeCamp, who came from 
Westfield, N. J. Her paternal ancestor was Capt. John Baker who 
came from England in 1660 and was chief military officer by ap- 
pointment in 1665 at Albany. Daniel Baker, a descendant, v^'as a 
Revolutionary soldier. He was the great-great-grandfatlier of 
Ezekiel DeCamp, who was born in New Jersey and came overland 
to Riley township. Ezekiel DeCamp met Nicholas Longworth near 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 287 

Cincinnati and the latter endeavored to persuade him to settle in 
that vicinity. Mr. Longworth subsequently became very wealthy 
from his land and other holdings in that section. Mr. DeCamp, 
however, had great faith in the future of Butler county and took up 
his abode there. In 1812 the other members of the family joined 
him in Butler county, they being Moses DeCamp, aged seventy- 
seven years, Sarah, sixty-five, and Ezekiel, thirty-three, the latter 
having a wife and ten children. Doctor Hancock, it may thus be 
seen, comes from pioneer American stock who had much to do with 
moulding the future of the country's greatness. Aside from medi- 
cine Doctor Hancock is active in the Presbyterian church, is a 
Mason and a Democrat in politics. He is also a member of the 
Medical Reserve Corps and was active in recent World war move- 
ments. 

William Thomas Hancock. In the prosperous agricultural 
sections of the Miami valley it is often found that the vocations of 
farming and banking go hand in hand, numerous individuals, after 
years of tilling the soil, turning their ability to good account which 
has been developed through extended transactions with their fellow- 
men. Among the citizens of Somerville, is one who for many years 
was engaged in farming, but who is now interested principally in 
his duties as president of the Somerville National bank. He has 
also been prominent in the civic life of the community, and for four 
years served as mayor of his city. He was also engaged for thirty 
years as an undertaker. Mr. Hancock was born on a farm located 
in Butler county, one mile directly east of section 2, Milford town- 
ship, June 30, 1850, a son of Rev. William and Elisabeth (James) 
Hancock. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Hancock was Elisha 
Hancock, of New Jersey, who came to Ohio as early as 1804 or 1805 
and secured wild government land in Preble county. There he 
developed a valuable and productive farm in Somers township, 
upon which he resided and carried on operations for a number of 
years, but eventually went to Richmond, Ind., where he died at 
the advanced age of ninety-one years, while his widow lived to 
be nearly 100 years old lacking 27 days. They were of the Quaker 
faith, Mrs. Hancock having a birthright in the Society of Friends 
and being a remarkable woman in many ways. She followed the 
business of coatmaking in the early days to assist her husband in 
gaining success, and when she had reached the age of ninety-six 
years wrote an interesting, full and accurate account of the Rev. 
Elias Hicks, one of the early ministers of the Miami valley. There 
were four children in the family: Elizabeth, who married Samuel 
Reddick and resided near Seven Mile ; Mary, who married Benjamin 
Bell and lived at Camden ; Isaac, who died unmarried ; and Rev. 
William. Rev. William Hancock was born September 9, 1818, in 
Preble county, Ohio, was educated in the home schools, and was 
ordained in young manhood as a preacher of the Wesleyan Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. He filled pulpits at various places in Ohio, 
and in 1837 came to Butler county and settled on the northeast 
quarter of section 2, Milford township. Later he came to Somer- 
ville, where he died in March, 1884, while his wife passed away 



288 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

in 1883. They were splendid Christian people and widely known 
and greatly respected in their community. During the days prior 
to the Civil war, Reverend Hancock was a strong, fearless and 
unfaltering Abolitionist, his home was a station on the "Under- 
ground Railroad," and in direct opposition of the Dred Scott Law. 
He and his wife were the parents of eleven children, of whom five 
died young: Elisha Morgan, born January 16, 1842, who fought as 
a soldier during the Civil war, subsequently lived in Illinois and 
Ohio, and died at Hamilton in the latter state ; John, born April 4, 
1844, a carpenter by trade, who also fought as a soldier during the 
war between the North and the South, married Harriet Brown, 
and had six children of whom two died young; Mary, who died 
unmarried at the age of twenty-one years ; Isaac, born August 20, 
1848, who married Mary Moravy, now deceased, and is engaged 
in farming west of Camden, Ohio ; they had one son, William, who 
died young; Augusta and Wiley E., who are deceased; and William 
Thomas. William Thomas Hancock was educated in the home 
schools and Richmond (Ind.) academy and remained under the 
parental roof until 1873, in which year he went to Georgia because 
of ill health and remained in that climate for four years. While 
there he was engaged in clerking, but on his return to Somerville, 
Ohio, in 1877, again took up farming and engaged in the under- 
taking business. He was married September 4, 1884, in Butler 
county by Reverend Kyle of Seven Mile, to Clara B. Bourne, 
daughter of Marsh W. and Mary (Hinsy) Bourne, old settlers of 
Butler county, Ohio, who also lived for a time in Indiana and 
Kansas, but who died at Somerville. Four children were born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Hancock : Lillian Elizabeth, who married Thomas E. 
Thompson and resides near Springfield, Ohio ; Ollen Dale, who 
married Roy E. Kissling, telegraph operator at the Pennsylvania 
Railway station, Somerville, for many years, with two children; 
and Mary and William Thomas, jr., who reside at home. All of 
the children are graduates of the Somerville High school, Mary 
is taking special instruction in music, and William Thomas, jr., 
was a student for a time at Miami university. After his marriage, 
Mr. Hancock purchased ninety-two acres of land in Butler county, 
a part of which is included within the corporate limits of Somer- 
ville, a place which has always known him for he has always lived 
in this vicinity. In the year 1909, he took part in the founding of 
the National Bank of Somerville, of which he has since been presi- 
dent. A man of the strictest integrity in all business matters, he 
has also been active and public-spirited in public afifairs and his 
private life has been one of probity and conscientious performance 
of responsibilities. As a fraternalist, he belongs to the Chapter 
of the Knights of Pythias at Somerville, the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows; the Masonic Blue Lodge and Chapter; the Com- 
mandery at Hamilton, and the Consistory at Dayton, where he 
belongs to the thirty-second degree, as well as Syrian Temple, A. 
A. O. N. M. S., at Cincinnati. He is a member of the Baptist 
church, while his wife and children belong to the Methodist 
Episcopal faith. Until the year 1871 Mr. Hancock was a Republi- 



BUTLER COUNTY -l'.l(Jf-i;API!l(,Al. 38(1 

can, but in that year transferred his allegiance to the Prohibition 
party, and ever since that time has been a leader in his community 
in assisting the cause of temperance. He has taken a great deal 
of interest in public afifairs, and during the four years that he served 
Somerville in the capacity of mayor gave this city an excellent 
administration, characterized by a number of greatly needed re- 
forms. 

William H. Hann, one of the best known citizens and foremost 
farmers of Reily township, Butler county, was born in Hamilton 
county, Ohio, near New Haven, in 1867. He is the son of Mortimer 
and Susan (Toph) Hann. Mortimer was born near Harrison, Ohio, 
and served as a soldier in the Civil war, answering President 
Lincoln's call to arms after the firing on Fort Sumter. Susan 
(Toph) Hann, his wife, was also a native of the Buckeye state, 
having been born near Miami town on the old Toph farm. William 
H. Hann, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the country 
schools at Edgewood, and later went west to Arkansas, remaining 
there for twelve years, where he engaged in the stock business, buy- 
ing stock in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas. He was 
known as the Arkansas Hog Man, buying thousands of stock hogs. 
He now owns land, 400 acres, in Arkansas, and also 268 acres in Reily 
township, Butler county, Ohio. He was married to Mary Burer. 
daughter of John W. Burer and wife of Symmes Corner. To 
William H. and Mary (Burer) Hann the following children were 
born: Anna, Charles, Susan, Agnes, William, Benjamin, Donald 
and Louis. The family record is also one of patriotic achievement, 
for in addition to supporting all war work and liberty bond drives at 
home, two of the girls entered the service of the United States 
government at Washington, D. C, and a son served the colors in 
the famous United States Marine Corps. Anna was employed in the 
War Risk department and Susan in the Treasury department of the 
United States at the national capital. Anna was formerly a teacher 
and is a graduate of McGuifey High school, also a student for two 
terms in the Normal school, Oxford. Charles Hann entered the 
army at the age of eighteen years. Enlisting in the marines he saw 
about three years active service in San Domingo. The members of 
the family are Methodists in their church afifiliations and held in the 
highest esteem by all who know them, being in accord with every 
movement pertaining to community welfare and social advancement. 
Charles Byron Hannah, one of the highly esteemed citizens of 
Middletown, and a citizen of recognized worth and standing. He 
has been a resident of this community since 1900, and at present is 
identified with the American Tobacco company, where his business 
abilities are highly regarded. Mr. Hannah was born in Bracken 
county, Ky., April 23, 1857, a son of John W. and Hannah (Miller) 
Hannah, of Brown county, Ohio. His father was for some years a 
teacher of vocal and instrumental music at Georgetown, this state. 
There were seven children in the family : Laura, the wife of C. S. 
Llovd. of Middletown : Gussie Louise, the wife of John Morris, of 
Bracken county, Ky. ; Birdie, Biddie and Alfonso, of Middletown ; 
and Nellie, the wife of Frank Grimes; and Charles B. Charles B. 

19 



aoe MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

Hannah received a public school education in his native state, vvrhcrc 
he resided until nineteen years ago, at that time coming to Butler 
county to become manager of the DuBois Lefferson farm. He re- 
mained in that capacity for eight years and then resigned, and for 
some time has been employed at the factory of the American Tobac- 
co company. Mr. Hannah is a man noted for his honesty and gener- 
osity. He has something more than a local reputation as a musician, 
a talent doubtless inherited from his father, and for fifteen years w^as 
leader in a church choir. In politics he is a Democrat. March 4, 1879, 
at Johnsville, Ky., Mr. Hannah married Miss Rebecca Kinnett, and 
they became the parents of nine children : Ida Lou, who is now Mrs. 
A. Grimes, of Middletown ; Hannah ; Leslie, the wife of Wright 
Brown, of Perintown, Ohio ; John Edgar, of Cincinnati ; Lloyd, of 
Middletown ; Verna, the wife of W. Houston, of Cincinnati ; and 
Reynolds, Sylvia Reeves and Elbert Harold, of Middletown. Mrs. 
Hannah died September 17, 1894, and February 27, 1898, Mr. Han- 
nah married Miss Jane Houston of Kentucky. They reside on the 
pleasant residence street of Lefiferson, where they have their own 
home and welcome their many friends. The first Mrs. Hannah died 
when her youngest son and child, Elbert Harold, was but eleven 
months of age, and he was reared in the home of Mrs. Laura Lloyd. 
He has become a noted athlete. As a professional basketball player 
he assisted in the winning of a championship for the organization of 
which he was a member, and his prowess as a baseball player at- 
tracted such attention that he was signed by the Cincinnati Baseball 
club, the famous Reds, who won the world's baseball championship 
in 1919. When the war broke out, he entered the United States 
Army, enlisting March 29, 1918, in Company H, 331st Regiment, 
83d Division, and was first sent to Camp Sherman, and then to Eng- 
land and on to France, arriving June 2. He was in active service at 
Chateau Thierry and St. Mihiel and returned to this country with a 
corporal's stripes on his sleeves after brave and valiant service. 

George R. Hansel. Of the men who represent the farming and 
stock raising interests of Butler county, one who is eminently worthy 
of mention in a work pertaining to the careers of honorable citizens 
of the Miami valley is George R. Hansel. This progressive agri- 
culturist of Milford township has passed his entire life in this part 
of Ohio, where he has built up and steadily maintained a reputation 
for stability, integrity and good citizenship. He was born March 
30, 1854, at Darrtown, Ohio, a son of Frederick Hansel. The latter 
was born in Franklin county, Ind., a son of Christopher Hansel, a 
native of Holland, who in 1811 settled in Franklin county and se- 
cured wild land, on which he made a clearing and established a home. 
Eventually he succeeded in clearing 160 acres, and this property is 
still in the family name, five generations of the Hansels having re- 
sided thereon. Christopher Hansel passed his life as a farmer on 
this place, and at his death left five children : David Christopher, 
John, Frederick, Frank and Susan Rosanna. Frederick Hansel re- 
ceived only a limited schooling and as a young man left Indiana and 
came to Butler county, Ohio, where he met and married Marietta 
Cone, of New York state, who had come with her parents as a girl 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 291 

down the Ohio river in a flatboat. The Cones secured land in Butler 
county and here passed the rest of their lives in tilling the soil. Their 
children were : Isaac, Lafayette, Sylvester, Asa, Esther and Mari- 
etta. After their marriage Frederick Hansel and his wife located in 
Reily township and lived on different farms until they secured their 
property north of Darrtown, in 1847. This consisted of 150 acres 
and it constituted the home place until Mr. Hansel purchased the 
farm where his son George R. now lives, in section 21, a tract of 154 
acres. Mr. Hansel died on this property in 1899, at the age of 
eighty-three years, while his wife passed away in 1899, aged seventy- 
five. In early life a Whig, he later joined the Republican party, and 
he and Mrs. Hansel were faithful members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church. They were the parents of six children : Esther J., de- 
ceased, who was the wife of Robert E. Scott, of Hamilton, and had 
three children, Russell, Charles and Bertha ; Elizabeth, who mar- 
ried George Kramer, of Oxford; Adeline, who married Oren E. 
Young, of Greenville and had two children, Bessie and Laura ; Ur- 
sula, who died in 1873, married A. R. Young, of Illinois ; George R., 
of this notice ; William C, a millwright of Hamilton, who married 
May Keck, and has three children, Florence, Frederick and Howard. 
George R. Hansel was educated in the common schools and at Earl- 
ham college, which he attended in 1871 and 1872. Subsequently he 
went to Lebanon college in 1873, and then returned to the home 
farm, where he assisted his father until his marriage, March 2, 1881, 
to Nellie Nichol, of Hanover township, daughter of Joseph W. and 
Henrietta Nichol, natives of Pennsylvania, and granddaughter of 
Thomas Nichol, a native of Scotland, who was an early settler of 
Hanover township. Thomas Nichol married Isabelle McCook, and 
they became the parents of four children : John, who married Martha 
Love and had two children, Mary Ann and Elizabeth ; Margaret ; 
John and Joseph W. Joseph W. Nichol was born in Hanover town- 
ship, where he secured 200 acres of land, to which he later added by 
purchase. He was always a farmer and became a well-known citi- 
zen of his community, where he took a good deal 'of interest in poli- 
tics and was known as a staunch Republican. He and his wife were 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Darrtown, in the 
faith of which they died respectively in 1895 at the age of seventy- 
three years, and February 21, 1904, at the age of seventy-five. They 
had six children, as follows : John Wells, a farmer of the Darrtown 
community, who married Maria Clements ; Nellie, who became Mrs. 
Hansel ; Sarah, who married Lewis Herron, a farmer of the Oxford 
community ; Mary Louise, who married George Coulter, of Hamil- 
ton ; Elizabeth, deceased, who was the first wife of George Coulter ; 
and George, who married Elizabeth Snyder and is engaged in farm- 
ing on the old Nichol place. Mrs. Hansel was educated in the 
Women's college, at Oxford. She and her husband are the parents 
of two children : Mary W., who died September 20, 1918, as the wife 
of Frank McVicker of Milford township ; and Charles N., who mar- 
ried Essie Shears, farms the old home place and is the father of one 
son, George W., born March 27, 1919. Charles N. Hansel is a Ma- 
ion at Oxford and belongs to the Knights of Pythias at Darrtown. 



292 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

George R. Hansel has resided on the old home place all of his life 
and has always applied himself to the vocations of farming and stock 
raising, in which he has achieved success. He is accounted one of 
the good and useful citizens of his community and has served his 
locality creditably and conscientiously in several public offices, to 
which he was elected as a Republican. He and the members of his 
family belong to the Methodist Episcopal church at Darrtown. 

William D. Hardin. Numbered among the citizens of Butler 
county who are now living practically retired after many years 
passed in agricultural pursuits, is William D. Hardin, one of the 
highly esteemed residents of Seven Mile. He comes of sturdy 
pioneer stock and of Revolutionary ancestry, and the family has 
lived in the Miami valley for well over a century, its members hav- 
ing been notable factors in the agricultural development of this sec- 
tion of Ohio. Mr. Hardin was born at Collinsville, Butler county, 
Ohio, in 1846, a son of James and Durinda (Carter) Hardin. His 
paternal grandfather, also named James Hardin, was born at Phila- 
delphia, and as a youth enlisted in the Patriot army and fought 
bravely as a privateer on the high seas for four years of the Revolu- 
tionary war. He learned the trade of shoemaker, and after his 
mother had been left a widow with a large family of children, fol- 
lowed that trade as a journeyman at Frankstown, Pa., where he 
lived for five years. In 1791, with one of his brothers and a Mr. 
Davis, he came down the Ohio river to Fort Colerain, in Hamilton 
county, where he and his companions endeavored to carry on farm- 
ing operations. There were difficulties innumerable to be over- 
come, for conditions were still primitive, and the Indians, who still 
roamed this section, were a constant menace. It was found neces- 
sary that two of the party stand guard with loaded rifles to watch for 
the unfriendly redskins while the others did the work in the fields, 
and as this was found an unprofitable proceeding the little party 
returned to Pennsylvania. However, they had become enamored 
of the country, and in 1796 returned to this locality and located six 
miles north of Fort Colerain, at this time finding conditions greatly 
improved. Securing government land, James Hardin cleared and 
cultivated a farm and made a home, and continued to be engaged in 
agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1837. He and his wife were 
the parents of a large family of children, of whom James was the 
youngest. James Hardin the younger was born near Fort Colerain, 
in Hamilton county, and had what was considered a good education 
for his day and locality, being for several years a teacher in the pub- 
lic schools in the Carey neighborhood. Eventually, however, he 
turned his attention to the family vocation of farming and came to 
Butler county, where in Milford township he took over a timber 
tract of 160 acres which his father had entered and upon which there 
was $5,000 worth of walnut lumber. After clearing a small space, 
upon which he erected a round log cabin, he settled down to agri- 
cultural pursuits and continued to be engaged therein until his re- 
tirement in 1877, when he moved to Seven Mile, his death occurring 
at that place in 1883, while his widow survived him until 1903 and 
was ninety years of age at the time of her demise. Mr. Hardin was 




EDWARD B. HARKRADKR 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 293 

a staunch Republican and served his community as township trus- 
tee. His religious connection was with the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Mr. Hardin was twice married, his first wife being Susan 
Withrow, of Wayne township, a daughter of John Withrow, the 
first settler of that township. There were five children born to this 
union: John, who was a farmer and died in Iowa; Ella, who mar- 
ried George Dutrow ; Anna, who married James Miller; Jane, 
who married John Gilmore; and Giles, who lives on the old home 
farm. William D. Hardin, the only child of the second union, 
was educated in the public schools and under the private in- 
struction of Professor Starr, of Hamilton, who was his pre- 
ceptor for three years. Following this he took up farming on the 
old home place, 160 acres of which he still owns. His first marriage 
was to Hannah Doddridge, who was born at Milton, Ind., a daugh- 
ter of David Doddridge, an Indiana farmer, and a highly esteemed 
and genial citizen, whose family were strict members of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. Mrs. Hardin died in 1887, leaving on child : 
Ollie, who is the wife of Ira Pottinger, a farmer on Pleasant Run, 
Butler county. Mr. Hardin was aga^n married in 1890, to Mary 
Jane Pottinger, who was born in Wayne township, Butler county, a 
daughter of John Pottinger, of Butler county, now deceased. Mr. 
and Mrs. Hardin have had two children : James, the first born, died 
in 1893, at the age of five years, and Harry, wha spent two years at 
the university in Valparaiso, Ind. He enlisted in September, 1918, 
for service in the United States Army. He is a splendid vocalist and 
a fine musician, playing on a number of instruments. While attend- 
ing university he was a member of the glee club, and in addition has 
done a good deal of church and concert work, and is a leader among 
the young people of his locality, with whom he is a general favorite. 
William D. Hardin lived on the farm in Wayne township until 1897. 
In 1903 he built a home at Seven Mile, where he has since resided. 
He now rents his 160-acre property, but is not entirely inactive, as 
he has several acres at his home, and engages in fruit growing and 
truck gardening in a small way. A stalwart supporter of the Repub- 
lican party, he has always taken a keen interest in county and town- 
ship affairs, and has served efficiently as a member of the. Seven 
Mile town council. His religious connection is with the Methodist 
Episcopal church, and for many years he has served as treasurer of 
the church at Seven Mile. Mr. Hardin is a well-read man and keeps 
fully abreast of the times. An interesting conversationalist, he also 
possesses an excellent memor)^ and it is the frequent pleasure of 
his friends to have him relate some of his reminiscences of the earlv 
days of Butler county. 

Edward Bruce Harkrader. One of the old and prominent fam- 
ilies of the Miami valley is that which bears the name of Harkrader. 
Its members for the most part have been agriculturists and during 
the time the family has resided in this section they have been factors 
in the work of development and progress which has made this one 
of the most fertile parts of the state. A worthy representative of the 
family in Butler county is found in the person of Edward Bruce 
Harkrader, a leading and prominent farmer of Lemon township, 



294 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

and a citizen who has contributed to his community's welfare in a 
number of ways. Mr. Harkrader was born on a farm in Turtle 
Creek township, Warren county, O., February 28, 1850, a son of 
John and Sarah Ann (Kyle) Harkrader. His grandfather, the orig- 
inal pioneer of the family in Ohio, was Benjamin Harkrader, a 
native of Virginia, who married Mary Ann Long, of Pennsylvania. 
The grandfather invaded Ohio at a time when Cincinnati was but a 
hamlet, and could he have seen future developments, it would have 
been possible for him to purchase land where the present court house 
stands for $7 per acre. Instead, Mr. Harkrader drove through in 
his wagon into Warren county, where he purchased seventy-five 
acres of land, on which had been made a small clearing, with a prim- 
itive log cabin. Settling down to the work of development, he 
cleared about thirty-five acres, and then, satisfied with the future 
prosperity of the region, bought 135 acres more. During the rest of 
his life he was engaged in making improvements and in harvesting 
the bounteous crops which rewarded his good management, skilled 
methods and tireless industry, and before his death erected a sub- 
stantial and commodious brick house and various other buildings. 
He died at the age of seventy-nine years. Mr. Harkrader's first 
wife died at the age of sixty-two years, in the faith of the Dix Creek 
church, which she and her husband used to attend by making the 
journey on horse-back. They had a large family of children, includ- 
ing Allison, John, Joseph, Martha Ann and Eliza. Mr. Harkrader's 
second wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Brown, bore 
him one child : Benjamin. John Harkrader, the father of Edward 
B., had little chance to secure an education, such advantages as came 
to him being furnished by the primitive log cabin school of his dis- 
trict. He was brought up to hard work, and when still a young man 
earned thirty-seven and one-half cents a hundred splitting rails. The 
capacity for industrious labor thus ingrained in him in young man- 
hood, never left him, and throughout his career he was noted and 
respected for his energetic operations. Mr. Harkrader married Sarah 
Ann Kyle, of Lemon township, a daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann 
(Long) Kyle, of New Jersey, and the progenitors of this family in 
Ohio, where Mr. Kyle was a lifelong farmer. He and his wife were 
the parents of nine children. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. 
John Harkrader lived on his father's farm for one year, and then 
bought 100 acres of land, to which were subsequently added pur- 
chases of eight and nineteen acres, all on Turtle Creek, Warren 
county. As a result of his industry, Mr. Harkrader was able to clear 
a good deal of land and became independent as to financial matters, 
while at the same time he continued to hold the esteem and confi- 
dence of his neighbors and all with whom he had business dealings. 
He was a Democrat in politics, and was honored by his fellow-citi- 
zens by election to various township offices. He was a faithful mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church, as was also his wife, who 
died in that faith at the age of seventy-seven years. Following her 
demise he went to live with a daughter, and later settled at Monroe, 
O., where his death occurred at the advanced age of ninety-one 
years, five months and twenty days. He and his wife were the par- 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 295 

ents of nine children : Martha Ann, who married first Russell Doty 
and second Isaac Marshall; Catherine, deceased, who was the wife 
of the late George Meyers; Edward Bruce, of this review; Jane, de- 
ceased, who was the wife of the late James Compton of Warren 
county; Emma, the wife of Presley Stewart, of Monroe; Ida, the 
wife of Charles Grubb, of Franklin ; John Clement, who died young; 
and two who died in infancy. Edward Bruce Harkrader attended 
the home schools in Warren county, including the old Bigger school, 
which he left at the age of seventeen years, to start upon his career 
of self-support. He was married in 1872 to Miss Phoebe Jane Comp- 
ton, of Turtle Creek township, Warren county, a daughter of Enoch 
and Martha (McClellan) Compton, the former of Hamilton county, 
O., and the latter of Lemon township, Butler county. Mr. Comp- 
ton was the owner of a good farm on Dix Creek, which he had him- 
self cleared and improved, and upon which he died at the age of 
sixty-six years, his wife passing away at the age of eighty-two years. 
They were both well known and highly esteemed in the community 
in which their home was made. Mr. and Mrs. Compton were the 
parents of eight children : Sarah, Mary Ann, Phoebe Jane, James E., 
Wilson, Catherine, Charles and Frank. To Mr. and Mrs. Harkrader 
there were born six children : Charles, deceased, who married Nellie 
Currier; Albert, president of the Bert Harvester company of Middle- 
town, who married Minna Brill ; Carrie, the wife of E. Wilson, a 
farmer of Warren county; Artie, the wife of B. S. Leeds, of Middle- 
town ; Clarence, who died in infancy ; Elmer, a practising dentist of 
Middletown, who married Bessie Boyd ; and Ethel, who married 
Ernest Wilson, lives in Middletown. After his marriage, Mr. Hark- 
rader located on his father's old place, but in 1880 made removal to 
Lemon township, Butler county, and settled on the Ellison Hark- 
rader place, which he had purchased in 1879. This property con- 
sists of 104 acres, of which ten acres of the clearing was done by Mr. 
Harkrader, who has also installed numerous valuable and attractive 
improvements. In addition to carrying on a general farming busi- 
ness, he raises Poland China hogs and a good grade of cattle, prin- 
cipally Shorthorns, and is considered a good business manager, a 
skilled and thoroughly well-informed farmer and an excellent judge 
of live stock. His reputation as a man of integrity has been firmly 
established through many years of honorable dealing with his fel- 
low-men. As a citizen he has given his unqualified support to all 
progressive movements, and has been particularly interested in the 
cause of education, having given impetus to an elevation of school 
system methods through his twenty-seven years of service as a mem- 
ber of the Lemon township school board. His political faith makes 
him a staunch Democrat. In religious matters he has been ener- 
getic and active, and for forty years has been a trustee and for six- 
teen years treasurer of the United Presbyterian church of Monroe. 
Thomas Harley. During a period of years approaching a quarter 
of a century, Thomas Harley has been identified with the agricul- 
tural interests of Reily township, Butler county, and has also been 
identified with various movements which have resulted in the better- 
ment and advancement of his locality. This well-to-do and progres- 



296 ' MEMOIRS OF THE AIIAMI VALLEY 

sive farmer was born on a farm in Hanover township, Butler county, 
Ohio, in 1857, a son of Thomas and Anna (McAnnelly) Harley, na- 
tives of County Mayo and County Galway, Ireland, respectively. 
Thomas Harley the elder was a young man when he emigrated to 
the United States and first worked as a boatman on the Ohio river. 
While thus employed he met and married at Hamilton Miss Mc- 
Annelly, who had also come to this country alone, and not long 
thereafter they settled on a farm in Hanover township, where they 
lived for some years. Later they moved to Franklin county, Ind., 
and there rounded out their lives as agriculturists, winning and hold- 
ing the respect and esteem of their neighbors as honest, honorable 
and God-fearing people. They were faithful members of the Cath- 
olic church and the parents of the following children : John, An- 
drew and Anna, who are all deceased ; Stephen, a resident of Erie, 
Pa., and Thomas. Thomas Harley of this notice was a small child 
when his parents removed to Franklin county, Ind., and there his 
education was acquired in the public schools. He grew up as a 
farmer's son, and in 1884 was married in Franklin county to Lydia, 
daughter of Eli Myers, of that county. At that time he began farm- 
ing on his own account, but after several 3^ears returned to Butler 
county, his native place, and settled on a farm in Oxford township, 
eventually coming to Reily township about the year 1896. In 1907, 
Mr. Harley purchased his present property, a well-cultivated tract 
on which he carries on extensive and successful operations, and 
which he has improved and made more valuable by the erection of 
substantial buildings and the installment of modern devices for 
eliminating many of the objectionable features of farm work. He is 
progressive, although practical, in his views, and is justly accounted 
one of his locality's substantial men. In politics a Democrat, he has 
taken an interest in public affairs, and has served as township trus- 
tee. During the period of the war he generously supported all war 
activities and evidenced his patriotism and public spirit in a num- 
ber of ways. Mr. and Mrs. Harley had one son : Harry, who is 
deceased. 

William L. Harris, a representative farmer of Oxford township, 
Butler county, was born in Fayette county, Ind., March 31, 1848. a 
son of John and Rebecca (Hamilton) Harris; the former of Warren 
county, Va., the latter of South Carolina. Archibald Hamilton, the 
maternal grandfather of our subject, was originally from County 
Antrim, Ireland. Coming to the United States, he settled in South 
Carolina and in 1813 located in Israel township, Preble county, Ohio, 
where he subsequently died. In Ireland he followed the weaver's 
trade; was twice married and had two children by the first wife and 
three by the second. John Harris was a son of Josiah Harris of 
English stock, his father, accotnpanied by a brother, having emi- 
grated from England to this country. John was born in Virginia 
and upon reaching manhood removed to Kentucky, where he passed 
the remainder of his days in the pursuit of agriculture. He mar- 
ried Miss Margaret Kirkham, and to this union were born : James, 
John, Robert. Ann and Phoebe, all of whom settled in Preble county, 
Ohio, with their mother in 1813. John Harris was married in 1830 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIO(/KArillCAL 297 

and lived in that county until 1845, when he went to Fayette county 
taking up forty acres of land, which he worked until the time of his 
death, in the year 1862. The following year, 1863, his wife died. 
Nine children were born to them; Josiah, died in Illinois; Sarah, 
Margaret, Nancy, Archibald, all deceased; Samuel, Robert, Scott 
and William L., of this sketch. He received his education in the 
paid schools in the county of his birth and in 1864, after the death of 
his parents, he moved to Preble county. He married Mary Jane 
Bell, daughter of William and Sarah (McCollum) Bell, both natives 
of Antrim County, Ireland, who came early to South Carolina and 
later to Israel township, Preble county, where they became respected 
members of the agricultural community. The following children 
were born to them : Mary Jane Bell, wife of the subject of this biog- 
raphy ; Nancy C, in Indiana; Samuel, in Eaton, Ohio; William J., 
Matilda, Susan, Elizabeth, and Edward, all of whom are now de- 
ceased. After his marriage Mr. Harris moved to Pawnee county, 
Nebr., where his eldest son was born. After working as a carpenter 
for ten years in that state he returned to Preble county and resumed 
farming. In 1916, he disposed of his property and acquired his 
present farm of 113 acres in Oxford township, Butler county, which 
was known as the old Davis place. Although he has been in posses- 
sion but a comparatively short time he has already made striking 
improvements and conducts a successful general farming business. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Harris have been born four children : William J., 
Helen, Grace, Clara May, and Samuel S. The three oldest children 
attended school at Columbus, Ohio. The family is actively identified 
with all movements concerning the betterment of public conditions, 
and holds membership in the United Presbyterian church at Hope- 
well. 

W. T. Harrison. The largest insurance agency of Middletown, 
and one that has gained during a long and progressive career the full 
confidence of the people, is that conducted by W. T. Harrison, who 
is likewise a dealer in real estate and bonds, a notary public, and one 
of his city's most active and successful business citizens. Mr. Har- 
rison was born at Springfield. Ohio, in 1863, a son of John D. and 
Barbara (Metzger) Harrison, the former a native of Lancashire, 
England, and the latter of Pennsylvania. The parents were married 
at Springfield, where they resided for several years, and in 1865 
came to Middletown, where the father secured employment at his 
trade as a machinist. Subsequently he became a partner in the 
Middletown Agricultural company, which later was succeeded by 
the firm of Harrison & Company, and with this latter he continued 
to be identified until his death in 1876. W. T. Harrison grew to man- 
hood at Middletown, where he secured his education in the graded 
and high schools, in the latter of which he spent but one term. He 
then secured his introduction to business affairs in the employ of 
W. H. Jones &- Co., a grocery concern with which he remained seven 
years. At the end of that time he established a grocer}^ business of 
his own, which he conducted with success for fourteen years. Dur- 
ing this time he had become attracted to the life insurance business, 
and this ultimately grew to such proportions that he applied himself 



298 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

uninterruptedly to the matter of selling insurance. Gradually from 
a strictly life business, he developed into an operator in all lines of 
risks, and at this time handles policies in the best companies for 
insurance against loss by fire, cyclone, death, accident, ill health and 
burglary and theft, in addition to handling plateglass, boiler, auto- 
mobile and employers' liability insurance. As a real estate operator 
and dealer in bonds he has also built up an excellent business, and 
maintains large modern offices at 225 S. Main street, ground floor. 
Mr. Harrison is a business man of marked ability, and his standing 
in business circles of Middletown is evidenced in the fact that he has 
served as treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as having 
been treasurer of the Y. M. C. A. war fund, during the period of the 
great war. Although his business interests are numerous, he has 
always found time to devote to his community in the discharge of 
his duties of citizenship, and for seven years served as city treasurer 
of Middletown. He is an active and interested member of the Home 
Guards and belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and his 
political sentiments make him a Republican, although he is inclined 
to be liberal rather than radical. In 1885 Mr. Harrison was united 
in marriage with Mary E., daughter of Michael and Ellen (Warner) 
Simpson, of Butler county, Ohio, natives respectively of Virginia 
and Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison have been the parents of 
six children : Fern, who is deceased ; Ernestine, who is the wife of 
Freeman Essex; and Merrill Allen; Dorothy S., wife of Albert 
Munzenmaier ; Mary Frances, who lives at home with her parents ; 
and Warner Simpson, deceased. 

George Harvey. The wonderful success which has attended the 
growth and development of the Gardner and Harvey interests of 
Middletown, may be ascribed in large part to the genius of members 
of the Harvey family. Coming of a long line of paper manufacturers, 
who have made this business their sole occupation for a number of 
generations, these men have contributed freely of their talents and 
industrious spirit to the furtherance of the interests of this concern, 
which is now recognized as one of the leading paper manufacturing 
industries of the country. A worthy representative of this family 
is found in George H. Harvey, treasurer of the Gardner Paper com- 
pany, who was born near London, England, March 11, 1866, a son 
of Thomas and Frances (Roberts) Harvey. Thomas Harvey was 
born in Buckinghamshire, England, March 13, 1846, and as a young 
man applied himself to learning the family vocation of paper making. 
In 1872 he came to the United States and located first in Connecticut, 
going then successively to Massachusetts, New York, and Hull, 
Canada. He returned to Castleton, N. Y., and then went back to 
Canada, and for thirteen years was superintendent of a large paper 
mill near Ottawa, a plant which manufactured several dififerent 
grades of paper. About 1899 Mr. Harvey came to Middletown to 
become paper maker at the plant of the Gardner Paper company, 
and to his almost marvelous genius in this direction is ascribed the 
phenomenal growth of this enterprise. Mr. Plarvey is still consid- 
ered one of that greatest paper making experts in the country. De- 
cember 30, 1864, Mr. Harvey married Frances, daughter of Robert 




GEORGE H. HARVEY 



BUTLER COUNTY— BIOGRAPHICAL 299 

and Anna (Watts) Roberts, born June 14, 1844, in England, and to 
this union there were born two sons: George H. and Tom, who 
were mere lads when they accompanied their parents to the United 
States. George H. Harvey has always been, since boyhood, identi- 
fied with the paper making industry. As secretary and general man- 
ager of the Colin-Gardner Paper company and treasurer of the Gard- 
ner-Harvey Paper company, he is one of the most prominent men in 
the industry in the country, and his various other business connec- 
tions are proportionately important. He is the owner of a beautiful 
home on Yankee road, and is variously identified with the activities 
of Middletown, being a generous contributor to movements of a 
religious, educational and civic character. May 5, 1891, he married 
Elizabeth Jane, daughter of Robert and Agnes Ross, of West Spring- 
field, Mass., and they have one son : Arthur Ross, born October 13, 
1895, who attended the public schools of Middletown and is a grad- 
uate of Culver Military academy. He is now attending the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology, and married Miss Ruth Louise 
Bunnell, one of Middletown's most beautiful and accomplished 
young ladies. Tom Harvey, brother of George H. Harvey, was 
born in England, March 9, 1868, and after completing his education 
in the New England states, took up paper making. From New Eng- 
land he went to Canada and then successively to Kalamazoo, Mich., 
Chicago, 111., and New York state, and about 1897 came to Middle- 
town to build the Gardner-Harvey Paper mill. October 14, 1902, at 
Kalamazoo, Mich., he married Sarah Pinchon, of London, England, 
and they have three sons : Harold, attending Culver Military acad- 
emy, at Culver, Ind. ; George Edward and Gardner. Mr. Harvey 
owns one of the most palatial homes of Middletown, located on 
South Main street. The Harveys are all Methodists and take an 
active part in church work. At the Methodist Episcopal church 
corner there stands a beautiful fountain, with the inscription : "That 
we may never forget a Christian mother," which was erected by 
George H. and Tom Harvey as a memorial to their mother. The 
members of this family are public-spirited and quick to respond to 
good causes, men of genius, high moral character and manliness. 
They are supporters of the Republican party at elections. 

Charles Hauserman, owner and proprietor of the White Sec- 
tion Stock farm, situated in Union township, Butler county, is a 
man of wide agricultural experience and is one of the county's rep- 
resentative and respected citizens. He was born in Mt. Carmel, 
Clermont county, Ohio, April 27, 1861. His father, also Charles 
Hauserman, had come to Clermont county when a boy thirteen years 
of age, was a farmer there all his active life, married in the county 
and six of his eight children are yet living, Charles being the only 
one in Butler county. The latter obtained a good common school 
education in Clermont county and assisted his father on the home 
farm until he was twenty-one years old. When he started out for 
himself, Mr. Hauserman came to Butler county, worked for farmers 
one year, then bought a team of mules and went into the hay haul- 
ing business, which he continued for twenty-three years. In the 
meanwhile he kept on investing in land and operated a small farm 



300 MEMOIRS OF THE MIAMI VALLEY 

until 1912, when he bought his present farm of 212 acres, which he 
conducts as a stock and dairy farm, keeping fifteen milch cows and 
annually feeding 150 head of hogs. Mr. Hauserman owns 362 acres 
of valuable land in Union township and his home place is well im- 
proved with comfortable and substantial buildings such as are neces- 
sary to wholesome farm life and the carrying on of large farm in- 
dustries. In 1889 Mr. Hauserman married Miss Emma, daughter of 
Henry Heisel, and they have three children: Cora; Ada, wife of 
Ernest Anderson ; and Stanle}'. As a prominent citizen of his town- 
ship in a business way, Mr. Hauserman has often been tendered 
public ofifice, but has declined, although always interested in public 
matters and giving his political support to the Republican party. 

Hon. Wesley B. Hedding, who for many years has been a pro- 
gressive and representative citizen of Middletown, was born at Mil- 
ton, Northumberland county, Pa., in 1827, a son of William and 
Susan (Black) Hedding, and a grandson of William Hedding of 
New Jersey. The Black family originated in Ireland, while the 
father of Squire Hedding was born in Pennsylvania, and the parents 
came to Butler county in 1843, locating in Lemon township, where 
William Hedding continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits 
during the remainder of his life. Wesley B. Hedding was sixteen 
years of age when the family came to Butler county, and here his 
education was completed in the country schools, following which 
time he was engaged in farming. Subsequently he mastered the 
trade of blacksmith, and while following this vocation was appointed 
postmaster at Lesourdsville, Ohio, a position which he held for two 
years. Moving to Middletown at that time, he resumed his trade, 
and during the administration of President Buchanan was ap